COP 28: Kick of the Africa Climate Week

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Kick of the African Climate Week

COP 28: African Climate Week kicks off

The Africa Climate Week 2023 (ACW) in Nairobi this week from 4 to 8 September 2023 welcomes decision-makers, practitioners, business and civil society representatives, in parallel with the African Climate Summit, held simultaneously from 4 to 6 September by the Government of Kenya. Explanations.

By Houmi AHAMED-MIKIDACHE

African Climate Week, held in Nairobi this week, is poised to build momentum towards positive and impactful outcomes at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, stresses the organizers in a press release received by Era Environnement on Monday.

As the world grapples with the urgent challenges posed by climate change, Africa Climate Week’s aim is to address the pressing climate crisis through cooperation and forward-thinking initiatives to drive transformative change, according to the organizers of this intensive week, three days after the 11 Climate Change Developement Conference, held also in Nairobi.

Green growth and sustainable development will be discussed during this week with a focus on clean energy, key minerals, agriculture and natural and human capital. African head of states and civil societies from Africa are looking for investments in these sectors, a few months before COP 28, held from November 30th to December 12th.

“In the face of the profound challenges posed by climate change in Africa, we stand unwavering in our commitment to confront this existential threat to all of humanity,” said President William Ruto of Kenya.

But is his hope justified? REN 21, a global network of stakeholders, reported on the carbon neutrality scenario from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on 13 June. In a scenario of 1.5 degrees Celsius, electricity will provide only half of the world’s final energy by 2050. Therefore, for REN21, renewable energy efforts need to be accelerated.

In its report, REN21 states that China is home to 44% of renewable energy deployment, while Africa and the Middle East account for only a 1.6% share per region. Rana Adab, Executive Director of REN 21 shared her thoughts on this study on “Your Voice with Radio Era Environnement”.

“Africa accounts for just four percent of global emissions, yet it suffers some of the worst effects of rising global temperatures: The people of Africa — and people everywhere — need action to respond to deadly climate extremes, underlines UN Secretary-General António Guterres. And he continues: ” I’m convinced that Africa can be at the heart of a renewable future.”

According to a recent report on Africa’s Just Transition, the potential of Africa in terms of renewable energy access is 50 times greater than the anticipated global electricity demand for the year 2040. The continent also has over 40% of the global reserves of key minerals for batteries and hydrogen technologies. 

“Africa’s abundance of wind and solar energy can power our development, creating jobs, protecting local economies, and accelerating the sustainable industrialization of the continent, says the president of Kenya. And he added: ” As we come together at the Africa Climate Summit and the Africa Climate Week, we aim to weave a single, resounding African voice that will carry the outcomes of these crucial events to COP28 and beyond.”

Two months after the Summit for a new global financial pact in Paris, President Ruto urges again an approach for financial support to relieve countries facing significant debt distress, compounded by the economic shocks of COVID-19 and other challenges. He has joined the call for a global effort to raise the necessary funds for climate action which would include targeted taxes, removal of fossil fuel subsidies, and a global fossil fuel tax.

 “Climate change in Africa is more than just solar panels and Africa cannot afford to further delay the vital conversation about adaptation when our communities are already suffering the ravages of a climate crisis we did not cause,” reaffirmes the climate activist, Mohamed Adow, Director of energy and climate think-tank, Power Shift Africa . To him, the Africa Climate Summit is the best opportunity to discuss ways to boost investments that put at the forefront communities. Ahead of COP 28, this summit happened on the side line of the Africa week is seen also as an opportunity to help Africa “demonstrating an inclusive and effective approach to climate policy with the voices of youth and communities”, says Ineza Umuhoza Grace, CEO of The Green Protector, Global Coordinator of the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition- Winner of the 2023 Global Citizen Prize.

COP 28 will be held eight years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement. It will mark the first Global Stocktake, which is described as a fighting chance to increase ambition and action to limit global warming to 1.5 °C. For observers, scaling up climate finance, adaptation support and operationalizing the fund for loss and damage will also be key priorities in the United Arab Emirates.

“The discussions taking place here will inform the global stocktake about the challenges, barriers, solutions and opportunities for climate action and support within the context of Africa, ” says Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change Convention.

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