NAIROBI, Sept 5 (Swara) – The Africa Climate Week 2023 (ACW) commenced in Nairobi on Monday as global leaders gathered to address urgent climate challenges. Policymakers, practitioners, business representatives, and civil society members convened from September 4 to 8, 2023, coinciding with the three-day Africa Climate Summit jointly hosted by the Kenyan government and the African Union.

With climate change at the forefront of global concerns, ACW aims to foster cooperation and initiatives for transformative change.

The event seeks to build momentum for impactful outcomes at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference COP28 in Dubai, UAE. COP28 will conclude the first Global Stocktake, assessing global progress in climate action and guiding future endeavours to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Priorities at COP28 include scaling climate finance, bolstering adaptation support, and operationalizing a fund for loss and damage.

President William Ruto of Kenya remarked, ‘In the face of the profound challenges posed by climate change in Africa, we stand unwavering in our commitment to confront this existential threat to all of humanity.” Ruto emphasized the potential of Africa’s renewable energy sources to drive sustainable development and stressed the need for financial support and technology transfer to developing nations.

Although Africa’s per capita emissions remain low, the continent experiences disproportionate impacts of climate change, including droughts, desertification, and cyclones causing food shortages and displacement. Despite these challenges, Africa possesses abundant resources for renewable energy, minerals, agriculture, and natural capital, poised to drive green growth.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres affirmed, “Africa accounts for just four per cent of global emissions. Yet it suffers some of the worst effects of rising global temperatures.” Guterres highlighted Africa’s potential to lead the way toward a renewable future and called for collective action.

Africa has the opportunity to lead in renewable energy, sustainable land use, and innovative technologies, attracting investment and positioning the continent as a global green development leader.

Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, noted, “The world is asking a lot: Develop, but don’t do it in the carbon-intensive way we did.” Stiell emphasized the collective global responsibility to navigate sustainable development.

The Africa Climate Week serves as a crucial platform to exchange ideas, showcase progress, and align industrial growth with the Paris Agreement’s climate goals. The event fosters cooperation and innovation while emphasizing the role of all sectors in driving climate action.

ACW is the first of four Regional Climate Weeks in 2023, showcasing ongoing projects and inspiring positive change. As ACW amplifies the African voice, it strives to influence COP28 negotiations for impactful outcomes on both regional and global scales.