After three days of discussions on the crucial matter of the adverse consequences of climate change, Nairobi has just solidified its place as the base for leading Africa’s campaign against what scientists have described as “the biggest catastrophe of our times”.
And to emphasize the importance of continental solidarity, the Africa Climate Summit (ACS) will now become a biennial event convened by the African Union and hosted by the member states. It is through this that Africa’s new vision on emerging global climate and development issues will be fine-tuned and articulated.
It is no mean feat that all the 54 nations sent delegations, but most importantly some Heads of State and the leadership of the AU were there to follow the deliberations.
After intense meetings and rousing speeches, pledges and commitments have been made by leaders and international partners to forge the path ahead. The least contributors to the mess wrought by the major polluters in the developed North, Africans are suffering devastating consequences of what the United Nations has ominously described as “an era of global boiling”.
President William Ruto, his fellow leaders and other guests at the ACS have finally spoken with one voice in what will now be known as the ‘African Leaders Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change’. This is the key message they will take to the November COP28 summit in the United Arab Emirates. Africa is warming faster than the rest of the world and if left unchecked, climate change will ravage economies, hampering growth and prosperity.
Though there is a consensus that the world needs to reduce global emissions by 43 per cent this decade, the mayhem is raging on. The adverse consequences are manifested through prolonged droughts, devastating floods and wild/forest fires.
There is a need to strengthen continental co-operation to enable and promote green growth. They should promote green industrialisation and increase agricultural yields through sustainable practices to enhance food security and minimise environmental degradation. Climate change is the single greatest challenge facing humanity and the worst threat to life on Earth. It requires urgent action by all nations to reduce emissions and solid support to increase Africa’s renewable energy capacity.