Tens of Heads of State, policymakers, global leaders, civil society, and the youth are meeting in Nairobi starting September 4-6 for the inaugural African Climate Summit that seeks to develop the Nairobi Declaration for green growth, which will serve as a blueprint for Africa’s transition to green energy.
The African Climate Summit, with its overarching theme of “Africa Together for Bold, Innovative and Resourced Climate Action: Unlocking Climate Finance and Green Investments,” holds a pivotal role in shaping the continent’s response to the pressing issue of climate change.
Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change
It is a collective effort to consolidate Africa’s voice on the global stage and develop a sustainable green growth blueprint. The summit’s outcome, the “African Leaders Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change and Call to Action,” promises to guide Africa’s climate agenda and set the tone for its participation in the upcoming COP28, where crucial decisions will be made to address climate challenges on a global scale.
COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber, who also serves as CEO of the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC), will be among the dignitaries in attendance.
Running in parallel with the summit, UN-backed Africa Climate Week adds another layer of significance to the event. It serves as a platform for diverse stakeholders, including youth, civil society, the private sector, and academia, to come together and share their perspectives, knowledge, and expertise.
Through pre-events organized by these groups, Africa Climate Week fosters collaboration and engagement among sectors that are crucial in driving climate action. This collaborative approach ensures that the continent’s response to climate change is not only comprehensive but also inclusive, drawing on the collective wisdom and resources of various stakeholders.
By consolidating its voice, crafting a sustainable green growth blueprint, and promoting collaboration across diverse sectors, Africa is poised to make a meaningful impact on climate action.
President Ruto rallies youth to fight climate crisis
In a rallying cry to the youth of Africa, President William Ruto has called upon the younger generation to step up and play a pivotal role in the global fight against climate change.
Speaking at the Africa Youth Climate Assembly 2023 held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, President Ruto emphasized the immense power of the youth in shaping the discourse on climate action.
President Ruto, who is no stranger to advocating for sustainable development, noted that it was high time the voice of the youth was no longer relegated to the periphery of discussions but instead brought to the forefront of the climate change conversation.
He announced ambitious plans to incorporate a youth representative into the African Union (AU), declaring, “We will ensure that the next summit of the AU has youth, not as attendees but with a statement on what they think the outfit should do.”
Highlighting the urgency of addressing climate issues, Dr Ruto underscored the need to accurately value Africa’s carbon assets and called for the establishment of a carbon market aligned with global pricing standards.
He stated, “We are not going to take peanuts. Our carbon assets must account for our assets and must be valued correctly.” He expressed the belief that Africa is a continent of great wealth, with abundant renewable resources that have yet to be fully harnessed and accounted for in its asset books.
Encouraging the youth to take the lead, Dr Ruto described them as energetic and creative forces capable of driving a new narrative about Africa’s potential in the global climate change battle. He urged them to position themselves at the center of this transformative journey.
President Ruto was joined by other leaders, including the President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina, Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja, and Environment Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya, among others, who echoed his sentiments on the crucial role of youth in shaping Africa’s climate future.
The Africa Youth Climate Assembly 2023 coincides with the African Climate Summit, taking place from September 4 to 6 in Nairobi, Kenya. The summit convenes African and international leaders to deliberate on Africa’s unified position regarding the climate crisis ahead of COP28, the global climate talks scheduled for December.