NAIROBI, Sept 6 (Swara) — African Heads of State and Government convened in Nairobi for the inaugural Africa Climate Summit (ACS) from September 4th to 6th, 2023, and have unanimously adopted the Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change. The declaration outlines a comprehensive call to action for addressing climate change and promoting sustainable development across Africa.
Key points of the Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change include:
Commitment to Climate Action: African leaders stressed the urgent need for global efforts to reduce emissions, aligning with the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. They underscored the importance of fulfilling past climate finance commitments and phasing out coal.
Concern for Africa’s Vulnerability: The leaders expressed deep concern over the disproportionate impact of climate change on Africa. They highlighted the continent’s vulnerability to unpredictable weather events, such as prolonged droughts, devastating floods, and wildfires, and the resulting humanitarian crises affecting economies, health, education, and peace.
Reaffirmation of Principles: The declaration reaffirmed the principles set out in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement, including equity, common but differentiated responsibilities, and respective capabilities.
Africa’s Potential: African leaders emphasized that the continent possesses significant potential to lead in climate-positive growth. Africa is home to a young and rapidly growing workforce, abundant renewable energy resources, and natural assets that can support a thriving, cost-competitive industrial hub.
Protection of Natural Resources: The declaration recognized Africa as a significant carbon sink, including its forests, peatlands, savannah grasslands, mangroves, and marine reserves. It acknowledged the progress made by African countries in promoting land and ecosystem restoration.
Ocean Sustainability: African leaders highlighted the ocean’s critical importance in climate action, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable development. They emphasized commitments made in various international forums and called for continued efforts.
Continental Collaboration: The leaders stressed the need for strengthened continental collaboration, including regional and continental grid interconnectivity. They also emphasized the importance of accelerating the operationalization of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.
Green Industrialization: African leaders committed to advancing green industrialization across the continent. They prioritized energy-intensive industries to drive renewable energy deployment and economic activity while adding value to Africa’s natural resources.
Agriculture and Biodiversity: Efforts to boost agricultural yields through sustainable practices, food security enhancement, and biodiversity conservation were underscored.
Global Standards and Metrics: The declaration called for African leadership to develop global standards, metrics, and market mechanisms to accurately value and compensate for nature protection, biodiversity, co-benefits, and climate services.
The Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change represents a united effort by African leaders to address climate change’s challenges while harnessing Africa’s potential for sustainable, climate-positive growth. It provides a clear roadmap for African countries to prioritize climate action and economic development with climate needs harmoniously.