African leaders have pledged to new commitments in the ‘Kenya Declaration’ toward tackling climate crises in the continent.
The leaders gathered at the maiden Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya to discuss the continental approach to climate change.
The summit, which was themed ‘Driving Green Growth and Climate Finance Solutions for Africa and the World’, with a focus on the need to showcase Africa as pivotal to delivering solutions capable of decarbonising the global economy and advancing green industrialisation.
The host, William Ruto, President of Kenya said the declaration is a “new, bold, innovative, transformational and distinctly African position on how the international community must engage with the undeniable climate emergency that is threatening human well-being and life on our planet”.
At the end of the summit, the leaders outlined key areas of interest that would assist African countries, their economies and people to thrive in the face of a changing climate in a joint communiqué called the “Kenya Declaration”.
“We, the African Heads of State and Government, gathered for the inaugural Africa Climate Summit (ACS) in Nairobi, Kenya, from 4th to 6th September 2023; in the presence of other global leaders, intergovernmental organizations, Regional Economic Communities, United Nations Agencies, private sector, civil society organizations, indigenous peoples, local communities, farmer organizations, children, youth, women and academia, hereby:
We commit to:
- Developing and implementing policies, regulations and incentives aimed at attracting local, regional and global investment in green growth and inclusive economies;
- Propelling Africa’s economic growth and job creation in a manner that not only limits our own emissions but also aids global decarbonization efforts, by leapfrogging traditional industrial development and fostering green production and supply chains on a global scale;
- Focusing our economic development plans on climate-positive growth, including expansion of just energy transitions and renewable energy generation for industrial activity, climate-aware and restorative agricultural practices, and essential protection and enhancement of nature and biodiversity;
- Strengthening continental collaboration, which is essential to enabling and advancing green growth, including but not limited to regional and continental grid interconnectivity, and further accelerating the operationalization of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement;
- Advancing green industrialization across the Continent by prioritizing energy-intense industries to trigger a virtuous cycle of renewable energy deployment and economic activity, with a special emphasis on adding value to Africa’s natural endowments;
- Redoubling our efforts to boost agricultural yields through sustainable agricultural practices, to enhance food security while minimizing negative environmental impacts;
- Taking the lead in the development of global standards, metrics, and market mechanisms to accurately value and compensate for the protection of nature, biodiversity, socio-economic co-benefits, and the provision of climate services;
- Finalising and implementing the draft African Union Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, with the view to realizing the 2050 vision of “Living in Harmony with Nature”;
- Supporting smallholder farmers, indigenous peoples, and local communities in the green economic transition given their key role in ecosystem stewardship;
- Identify, prioritize and mainstream adaptation into development policymaking and planning, including in the context of national plans and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs);
- Building effective partnerships between Africa and other regions, to meet the needs for financial, technical and technological support, and knowledge sharing for climate change adaptation;
- Promoting investments in urban infrastructure including through upgrading informal settlements and slum areas to build climate-resilient cities and urban centres.
- Strengthening early warning systems and climate information services, as well as taking early action to protect lives, livelihoods and assets and inform long-term decision-making related to climate change risks. We emphasise the importance of embracing indigenous knowledge and citizen science in both adaptation strategies and early warning systems;
- Supporting efforts under the Africa Investment Programme (AIP) aimed at closing Africa’s Water Investment gap by mobilizing at least US$30 billion per year by 2030;
- Accelerating implementation of the African Union Climate Change and Resilient Development Strategy and Action Plan (2022-2032).