Africa holds its first climate change Summit

Climate Change Summit

Africa holds its first climate change Summit

On September 4th, 2023, the first Africa Climate Change Summit got underway. For three days in Nairobi, the summit brought together leaders, diplomats, and specialists from all over the continent. Kenya and the African Union jointly organized the event, and panels covered issues like climate financing, renewable energy, land use, and sustainable infrastructure.

Despite making up only 3.8% of the world’s historical carbon emissions, Africa confronts difficulties in combating climate change due to its intricate and poorly understood weather patterns.


The repercussions of climate change on the continent over the past few years have been particularly unsettling. Millions of people in East Africa have been living on the verge of famine due to a catastrophic continuing drought since 2020.


Rising waves are putting entire villages in West Africa in danger of extinction. Additionally, South Sudan’s periodic floods have devastated residences and transportation routes that carried help to South Sudanese refugees.


A commission to give loss and damage compensation to developing countries affected by climate change convenes during the event, which is taking place just a few months before the COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai. The loss and damage fund was initially established at the COP27 summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, last year.


Developed nations pledged in 2009 at the COP15 meeting in Copenhagen to mobilize $100 billion annually through a combination of loans and investments to help developing nations achieve their environmental goals. However, according to data from the OECD, these goals have been unmet every year, reaching a high of $83 billion in 2020.


According to Charra Tesfaye Terfassa, a senior associate at the climate change think tank E3G, “We expect some agreement on the arrangements and lay the foundation for the fund to be operational.” The summit’s goal is to address some of these problems, such as the climate outcomes from COP28, and work on bigger problems like improving the reform of the world financial system, which isn’t doing enough for Africa and other developing nations.


Terfassa claims that the summit’s emphasis is not solely on obtaining financial compensation for losses and harms. African nations may find it easier to construct their renewable infrastructure because the continent has less developed fossil fuel infrastructure than other regions of the world.


In his opening remarks at the conference, Kenya’s newly elected president William Ruto, who was elected last year, emphasized the prospect of economic possibilities.


“We have considered this to be an issue for a very long time. It’s time to flip it around and examine it from the opposite angle. There are also a ton of opportunities, added Ruto. When in reality they are mutually supportive, “[economic development] is frequently presented as a trade-off with environmental stewardship as if they are mutually exclusive.”

Ruto has suggested that concerted climate action will benefit both wealthy and underdeveloped nations.


The Climate Change Summit intends to reaffirm Africa’s participation in international efforts to combat climate change. African leaders have been advocating for more funding for climate change initiatives on the international stage because their continent is suffering the effects of the global financial crisis while not having had a part in its creation.


The “Nairobi Declaration,” which will be released following the conference, is anticipated to outline Africa’s position on climate change and its plans for combating it.



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