As we prepare for the Africa Climate Summit, we, H.E. President of Kenya William Samoei Ruto, COP28 President-Designate Dr. Sultan Al Jaber and African Union Commission Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat affirm our commitment to work towards realizing ambitious climate action in this critical year of the Global Stocktake.
Africa is a continent brimming with promise. It is blessed with abundant renewable energy potential that is waiting to be tapped. Africa’s 1.4 billion people represent 17% of the world’s population,60% of which are under the age of 25 making it the youngest population in the world. It is also the home to 5 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world.
But despite accounting for less than 3% of the world’s energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to date and having the lowest emissions per capita of any region, Africa is also home to many of the most climate-vulnerable countries.
As we commence the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi and with 87 days to COP28 in the UAE, the actions we take now will be crucial to building the necessary adaptive capacities as well as keeping 1.5C within reach.
Both the Africa Climate Summit and COP28 are significant milestones towards realizing our common priority to accelerate a just, equitable, and orderly energy transition that puts our economies on a path toward a new low-carbon, high-growth, sustainable socio-economic model, supported by substantially scaled up climate finance.
We welcome the Africa Climate Summit platforming critical perspectives, solutions, and priorities in our collective fight against climate change. This is a crucial step towards catalyzing climate action by Africa and for Africa.
It is our shared conviction that COP28 must accelerate practical action across mitigation and adaptation and build an inclusive climate process focusing on people, lives, and livelihoods that leaves no one behind.
The time for implementation is here. The African Union, Kenya and COP28 Presidency affirm that Africa’s governments and peoples can play a fundamental role in delivering effective solutions that implement the goals of the Paris Agreement across the entire climate agenda.
We must ensure that climate finance is more available, affordable, and accessible to all developing countries, including those in Africa, and that international investment and support is massively scaled up to enable commitments to be turned into actions across the continent.
Furthermore, it is vital that we restore trust in the multilateral process if we are to achieve progress. Developed countries must deliver on their historical commitments, including the $100 billion of annual climate finance, doubling adaptation finance and ensuring a strong replenishment of the Green Climate Fund.
The Africa Climate Summit and COP28 are key stepping stones towards building a new climate finance architecture that is inclusive, brings more private finance to the table, and operates at the scale required for developing countries to adapt and mitigate.
The Africa Climate Summit and COP28 must also work towards strengthening mitigation efforts by advancing momentum for the significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and providing a credible path to a just, responsible and orderly energy transition.
On a continent where 43% of the population lacks access to electricity, clean and efficient energy offers an opportunity to supercharge Africa’s economic growth while improving lives and livelihoods. Tripling global renewable energy capacity and doubling the rate of energy efficiency improvements will be critical to achieving net zero by mid-century and keeping 1.5C within reach.
The Africa Climate Summit and COP28 are also committed to ensuring that the human face of the climate crisis is at the center of all our decision-making. Our efforts are focused on advancing a credible response to climate change that builds resilience and limits impacts on lives and livelihoods through clear and tangible outcomes on adaptation and loss and damage. This includes operationalizing the loss and damage fund and funding arrangements at COP28. We have to make every effort to realize the promise made at COP27 in Egypt, including early capitalization of the fund.
Building momentum towards a comprehensive and robust framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation at COP28 is an important step toward deeper collective action on adaptation, effective adaptation finance, and protecting the most impacted populations and ecosystems. If we deliver a Goal that lives up to the task parties set themselves in Paris, it will reduce climate vulnerability for people and communities.
Adaptation finance is an essential part of implementation. Adaptation finance represents less than 10 percent of all climate finance and this imbalance must be urgently addressed.
A comprehensive systems change is also essential to have lasting impact. Both the Africa Climate Summit and COP28 are focusing on the need for transforming food and health systems and embedding nature and biodiversity protection with climate action in pursuit of this objective.
Finally, acknowledging the vital role of youth in shaping our collective future is at the heart of both our respective agendas. We look forward to the voices of many young people shaping the outcomes of the Africa Climate Summit and COP28.
We welcome Africa’s leadership and commitment in our collective fight against climate change and we call on all stakeholders to engage constructively in finding and driving solutions. Africa has the potential to be a global trailblazer for the energy transition, green industrialization, and delivering sustainable economic development, and the Africa Climate Summit will be a landmark moment in that journey.
We must now work towards showcasing our collective political will—in Kenya and in the UAE—towards tackling the climate crisis. Every moment matters and every action takes us further. Now, more than ever, we must all unite, act, and deliver.