Kenya to host Africa Climate Summit as Ruto calls for overhaul of international financial system

The Committee of African Heads of State and government on climate change (CAHOSCC) coordinated by President William Ruto has adopted that Kenya will host the Africa Climate Summit to be held in Nairobi from 4th to 6th September this year.

The President explained that this is in keeping with the pledge to advance opportunities in green industrialisation, as well as the Green Agenda for Africa.

“I am convening a Climate Action Summit in Nairobi, to take place from 4th to 6th September, 2023. 40. There is consensus in this meeting that Africa is the continent of the future.

It is time to escalate this consensus and propel Africa to join the leadership of the global climate action. This is the momentous mandate that we, as CAHOSCC, must now provide.”

This comes even after President Ruto who is attending the African Union Summit 2023 in Addis Ababa , Ethiopia said that an overhaul of the financial system that is imperative to connect climate action and development finance , to fund the creation of resilient jobs , design more secure instruments that will unlock funding for post disaster reconstruction and establish better risk-sharing practices.

According to the President , the present set-up of the global economic and financial system is inequitable and inadequate in the face of the challenges confronting the continent.

“We are adding our strong voice to the now urgent calls for the reform of international financial institutions and multilateral development banks, these reforms must proceed all the way to the radical overhaul of international financial infrastructure and institutional architectures to make sure that funds are accessible, affordable, mobilise relevant technology, are adequate and most importantly, timely.

At the same time, I believe that it is highly appropriate, as we enter a new industrial age of clean energy technology and green manufacturing, to unlock financing from innovative sources like green bonds, climate insurance instruments and the rapidly growing carbon credits market, “ President Ruto announced while pointing out that the rate of growth in African carbon credit markets, outstrips the global rate by 5%, and at 36%, these markets now have the potential to mobilise between US$ 6 billion by 2030 and U$ 100 billion by 2050.

“The robust performance of African carbon credit markets, tells us all we need to know about Africa as the continent of the future and the next global economic power, driven purely by clean, green industrialisation and innovation.

At COP27, I announced Kenya’s commitment to accelerate the development of carbon markets as the next major export sector, not just for Kenya, but for Africa, President Ruto told delegates.

This is why the African heads on state have resolved to develop what they describe as a high integrity, high quality carbon market framework and a robust activation plan, which will soon undergo legislation, in order to provide certainty and clarity for the comfort of investors.

“ Yesterday’s High Level Meeting on the Sahel offered us a sobering glimpse of the ravages inflicted by climate change on the region. In the Horn of Africa, we are confronting the possibility of a fifth consecutive season of failed rains. The effects of this looming disaster on already precarious food security, water stress and attendant peace and security implications, are quite dire,” the President said .

“Yet as dire as it gets, this situation is further exacerbated by geopolitical upheaval whose disruptive effect have impaired global logistics, driven up energy prices, pushing the cost of basic commodities beyond the reach of millions of severely impoverished people, and further diminishing the resilience of many economies that are still contending with post-pandemic recovery.

Our meeting occurs against the backdrop of these daunting circumstances, and the realisation that every material indicator is getting worse,” President Ruto reminded while highlighting that last year was the fifth warmest year in history, and the earth’s oceans were the hottest ever recorded. Extreme weather events are becoming more and more frequent, like floods in Niger, Chad and Nigeria and the ongoing drought in Kenya and the rest of the Horn of Africa region.

“The world’s youngest and least polluting continent is also the poorest and most adversely affected by the ever worsening climate change yet the climate agenda has become an empty ritual, and climate action, nothing but hollow expression of optimism.

In order to radically change the course of events and switch our course back from a headlong rush to the precipice, we must commit as leaders, that CAHOSCC deliberations about our continent are action-oriented, cognisant of the existential magnitude of what is at stake, and animated by a strong sense of urgency,” the head of state believes.

“ As we ponder our continent’s present condition, which is positively dire, let us also consider developments beyond.
The world is entering a new industrial age of clean energy technology and clean, green manufacturing. Last year, the European Union, through its climate policy, approved a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel passenger cars by 2035. As we speak, electric car sales reached 79% in Norway, 28% in the EU and over 25% in China.”

According to President Ruto , at the United Nations Climate Change conference last year (COP27), several governments launched a coalition to drive global transition to zero-emission vehicles by 2040, while 80 countries supported the phasing down of fossil fuel, in addition to the phasing down of coal, which had been agreed upon in COP26.

“As matters stand now, it appears that the good news, of progress in innovation, adaptation and resilience, are concentrated in one side of the world: the wealthy industrialised side, while the bad news, of worsening vulnerability, increasing ferocity of climate disasters, collapsing resilience, deepening poverty, minimal innovation and adaptation are concentrated on the other side: the poor, underdeveloped, heavily indebted side.”

He is of the view that global inequality is perpetuating itself in the climate crisis.

“Africa’s contradictions and paradoxes must be reconciled in order to chart a path that will take us out of our present challenges.

The world’s least polluting continent by far, bears the heaviest burden, of the adverse impacts of climate change, creating the appearance that we are being punished for not polluting,” President Ruto said while further pointing out that Africa is the most abundantly endowed continent in terms of natural resources, including those used to generate clean energy, also has the lowest energy production and access globally, and is home to some of the world’s poorest people and most indebted countries.

“Energy poverty persists in our continent, where 600 million people have no access to electricity, while 970 million live without clean cooking fuels and technologies.

Key to unpacking the African paradox is the fact that our continent, organised under a single, active continental community, struggles to find its place on the world stage, and has difficulty being heard in global discourse.

We have everything: the people, the land, the resources, youthfulness and institutions, so what are we waiting for?”

The chair of CAHOSOCC believes that it is time to finally rise up and seize Africa’s long overdue moment to exercise her sovereign power and grant herself permissions to make her resources work for her people.

“Now, we must claim and exercise our right to liberate our nations and peoples from the shackles of poverty, disease and insecurity by asserting the right to develop. We are literally a few simple decisions away from achieving our aspirations.
As Africans, we have consistently demonstrated that climate change, poverty, conflict and insecurity are all tightly connected. For Africa, therefore, climate action, economic growth, peace and security are not just related, they are merely three dimensions of the same phenomenon.”

This according to President Ruto is the key insight that emerged from their collective and individual interventions during COP27 and after.

“Permit me to briefly dwell on these actions by sharing a few learnings from our experience in Kenya. Over time, we have emerged among global leaders in clean power generation, which now makes up 92% of our grid, we are committed to attain a 100% clean grid by 2030.

It is our intention to proceed beyond greening our grid, to export green energy directly, and also indirectly through green manufacturing, Iam aware that several other African countries have embarked on a similar developmental trajectory, which has made them attractive to private sector investment in clean transport, sustainable agriculture, green building and urbanisation, and other enterprises,” he said.

“To achieve our priority agenda of eliminating energy poverty and powering a green, renewable-based economy as set out in Agenda 2063, it is imperative to mobilise and attract adequate financing and investment.”

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