Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission, in a handshake with William Ruto, Kenyan President, at the African Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya
Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission, in a handshake with William Ruto, Kenyan President, at the African Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change: African leaders demand fulfilment of $100bn pledge

The maiden African Climate Summit (ACS) has ended in Nairobi, Kenya, with a call on the West to honour the $100 billion commitment in annual climate finance promised developing countries.

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The payment of the funds by the rich countries who are guilty of large-scale pollution is now three years overdue since the pledge at the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009.

With the clarion call for timely action to reduce the rising global greenhouse emissions, the African leaders reminded the developed countries which are responsible for a chunk of the emissions to walk the talk.

In what has been dubbed the Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change, the African leaders further called for the operationalisation of the loss and damage fund that was agreed on at COP27 to help deal with the adverse effects of climate change on deprived communities in developing countries.

The ACS, which began in Nairobi on September 4, 2023, had global leaders, intergovernmental organisations, regional economic communities, UN agencies, the private sector, civil society organisations, among others, as participants.

Communique

In a communique issued on September 6, 2023, they called “upon the global community to act with urgency to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, fulfill your obligations, honour past promises and support the continent to address climate change”.

They also called for upholding of commitments to a fair and accelerated process of phasing down unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, while providing targeted support to the poorest and most vulnerable in line with national circumstances.

“We call for climate-positive investments that catalyse a growth trajectory anchored in the industries poised to transform our planet and enable African countries to achieve stable middle-income status by 2050,” they added.  

The African leaders also pledged to develop and implement policies, regulations and incentives to attract local, regional and global investment in green growth, inclusive of green and circular economies.

They also agreed to collectively act to propel Africa's economic growth, create jobs and aid global decarbonisation efforts by leapfrogging the traditional progression of industrial development.

Additionally, they resolved to focus their economic development plans on climate-positive growth, including expansion of just energy transitions and renewable energy generation for industrial activity, resilient agricultural practices, and essential protection and enhancement of nature and biodiversity.

Investment

They further pledged to work together to promote investments in reskilling to unlock the human capital that would power Africa’s inclusive green transition.

The leaders also resolved to redouble their efforts to boost agricultural yields through sustainable practices to enhance food security while minimising negative environmental impacts.

They expressed commitment to integrate climate, biodiversity and ocean agenda into national development plans and processes to increase resilience of local communities and national economies. 

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