Africa’s Pursuit of Investment in Climate Action: A Visual Presentation

Africa's Pursuit Of Investment In Climate Action: A Visual Presentation
  • Kenya’s president, William Ruto, believes that Africa has an unprecedented opportunity to benefit from climate action. However, substantial investments are required to unlock its potential.
  • The first-ever Africa Climate Summit has commenced in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • To stay updated on climate change news and analysis, visit News24 Climate Future.

On Monday, Kenya’s president declared that Africa has an unparalleled chance to capitalize on efforts to combat global warming. Nonetheless, significant financial investments are needed to fully harness this opportunity. This statement was made as Nairobi hosts the historic Africa Climate Summit, which serves as a precursor to the November COP28 international climate summit in the United Arab Emirates.

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The Africa Climate Summit spans three days and aims to bring together leaders from all 54 African nations to establish a shared vision for the continent’s sustainable development. This is a highly ambitious goal considering the region’s political and economic diversity and its population of 1.4 billion.

In his opening address, President Ruto emphasized that climate action presents immense potential for Africa. As the climate crisis worsens, trillions of dollars in green investment opportunities will be required. He called on the international community to assist in unlocking financing for Africa to play its part in addressing climate change.

“Africa possesses the key to accelerate global decarbonization. We are not just a resource-rich continent; we are a powerhouse of untapped potential, eager to engage and compete fairly in the global markets,” Ruto stated.

Increased security measures have been implemented, and roads around the summit venue in central Nairobi have been closed. The government has reported that 30,000 individuals have registered to attend the event. The summit is expected to be attended by numerous African heads of state, as well as prominent figures like United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters staged a demonstration near the conference, expressing dissatisfaction with what they perceive as a compromised agenda that caters to the interests of wealthy nations. They called for more action and less talk on climate change.

Although Africa contributes a mere 2-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, it bears a disproportionate burden of climate change, grappling with droughts and floods. African countries face significant challenges, including mounting debt and lack of financial resources. Despite having abundant natural resources, Africa receives just 3% of global energy investments.

Ruto highlighted Africa’s potential to achieve complete energy self-sufficiency through renewable resources. Kenya, for instance, aims to be 100% reliant on renewable energy by 2030. Nevertheless, Africa lags behind in terms of installed capacity compared to its exceptional solar energy potential.

According to the International Energy Agency, a global transition to clean energy in developing nations is essential for the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to “well below” two degrees Celsius, preferably 1.5C. To achieve this, annual investments must surge to $2 trillion within ten years—an eight-fold increase.

“We must ensure that climate finance is readily available, affordable, and accessible to all developing countries, including those in Africa,” Ruto stated during a joint statement with COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber and Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat.

Rebuild trust

Wealthy nations worldwide are yet to fulfill their commitment of providing $100 billion annually in climate finance to poorer nations by 2020. This failure has eroded trust that polluting nations will support those most vulnerable to climate change. Ruto, Al Jaber, and Mahamat emphasized that developed nations must honor their historical commitments to rebuild confidence.

A draft version of the final declaration underscores Africa’s vast potential for renewable energy, young workforce, and natural resources. Africa holds 40% of global cobalt, manganese, and platinum reserves, which are crucial for batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. However, the continent faces significant challenges, such as widespread lack of access to electricity and ongoing political instability.

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