We have challenged the international community: Ruto says as climate summit ends

As the three-day Africa Climate Summit concludes at the KICC, President William Ruto has expressed satisfaction with the event organisation and the outcomes.

“We have challenged the international community. I am satisfied that we have done very well in our first Africa climate summit. With humility, I thank you for kindly accepting our invitation to this summit. Your devotion to Africa’s transformation is admirable. I thank the heads of state for giving me the opportunity to champion this and I promise you I will do my very best, ” President Ruto said.

The President also lauded youth on their role in climate change awareness during his final speech

“Our youth stood out in this summit. It is wonderfully appropriate that Africa is a young continent,” Ruto added.

Highlights of the declaration made during the Summit include;

  • A Call for Equality: The leaders called upon world leaders to see the immense potential for equality and shared prosperity in the journey to decarbonize the global economy. They understood that addressing climate change could also bridge the gaps that divide nations.
  • A Global Call to Action: They extended an invitation to development partners from around the world, both in the global south and north, urging them to align their technical and financial resources to support Africa’s sustainable use of its rich natural assets. They believed that this would propel the continent toward a low-carbon future and contribute to global decarbonization.
  • Reforming Global Finance: Recognizing the importance of global financial reform, the leaders called for the acceleration of ongoing initiatives, such as the Bridgetown Initiative and the Accra-Marrakech Agenda. They sought to refine the multilateral financial system to make it more equitable and responsive to the needs of developing nations.
  • Concerns About Debt: While they urged efforts to refine the G20 Common Framework for Debt Treatments, they also expressed concerns about its adequacy and timeliness. They knew that addressing debt issues was critical for development and climate action.
  • Comprehensive Response: They emphasized the need for a comprehensive and systemic response to the emerging debt crisis, recognizing that it was essential to create the fiscal space required for all developing countries to finance their development and climate initiatives.
  • The Scale of the Challenge: The leaders acknowledged that multilateral finance reform, though crucial, might not be sufficient to meet the scale of climate financing needed to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals. They understood that Africa’s climate-positive growth required resources beyond what national balance sheets or private capital could provide.
  • A Bold Proposal: To bridge this financial gap, the leaders urged world leaders to support a global carbon taxation regime, including taxes on fossil fuel trade, maritime transport, and aviation. They suggested that this might be augmented by a global financial transaction tax, ensuring dedicated funding for climate-positive investments while keeping it insulated from geopolitical interests.
  • A New Financing Architecture: They proposed the establishment of a new financing architecture, which included debt restructuring and the development of a Global Climate Finance Charter by 2025. This charter would be a critical step in addressing the unique needs of Africa.
  • A Sustainable Tradition: The leaders decided to establish the Africa Climate Summit as a biennial event, hosted by the African Union and its member states. This summit would serve as a platform to set a new vision for the continent, taking into account emerging global climate and development challenges.
  • A Common Position:  They declared that this Nairobi Declaration would serve as Africa’s unified stance in the global climate change process, carrying its principles forward to COP 28 and beyond.
  • Implementing the Vision: Recognizing the importance of implementation, they tasked the African Union Commission with developing an implementation framework and roadmap for this Declaration. They also called for Climate Change to be a central theme for the AU in 2025 or 2026.   With this declaration, these African leaders aimed to steer their continent toward a more sustainable, equitable, and climate-resilient future. It was a declaration born out of necessity, but it was also a declaration infused with hope, ambition, and a shared commitment to a better world.

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