Africa Climate Summit: Nairobi Declaration on climate change and call to action

AFRICA – At the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, African leaders have announced their commitment to climate change and call to action.

Following the conclusion of the Africa Climate Summit on the 6th of this month, the African leaders have jointly given a declaration on climate change and a call to action.

“We, the African Heads of State and Government, gathered for the inaugural Africa Climate Summit (ACS) in Nairobi, Kenya, from 4th to 6th September 2023; in the presence of other global leaders, intergovernmental organizations, Regional Economic Communities, United Nations Agencies, private sector, civil society organizations, indigenous peoples, local communities, farmer organizations, children, youth, women and academia, hereby:

  1. Recall, that the Assembly Decisions (AU/Dec.723(XXXII), AU/Dec.764 (XXXIII), and AU/Dec.855(XXXVI)) requesting the African Union Commission to organize an African Climate Summit and endorsing the offer by the Republic of Kenya to host the Summit.
  2. Commend the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) under the Leadership of H.E. President William Ruto for providing a unified approach and political leadership on an African vision that simultaneously pursues climate change and development agenda.
  3. Commends the Arab Republic of Egypt for the successful COP27 and its historic outcomes, in particular loss and damage, just transition and energy, and calls for the full implementation of all COP27 decisions.
  4. Take Note of the 6th Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), stating that the world is not on track to keeping within the 1.5°C limit agreed upon in Paris and that global emissions must be cut by 45% in this decade.
  5. Underscore the IPCC confirmation that Africa is warming faster than the rest of the world and, if unabated, climate change will continue to have adverse impacts on African economies and societies, and hamper growth and well-being.
  6. Express concern that many African countries face disproportionate burdens and risks arising from climate change-related, unpredictable weather events and patterns, including prolonged droughts, devastating floods, and wild/forest fires, which cause massive humanitarian crises with detrimental impacts on economies, health, education, peace, and security, among other risks.
  7. Acknowledge that climate change is the single greatest challenge facing humanity and the single biggest threat to all life on Earth.

It demands urgent and concerted action from all nations to lower emissions and reduce the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

  1. Recognize that Africa is not historically responsible for global warming, but bears the brunt of its effect, impacting lives, livelihoods, and economies.
  2. Reaffirm the principles set out in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement, namely equity, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
  3. Further, recognize that African cities and urban centers are growing rapidly, and by 2050 would be home to over 1.0 billion people.

Cognizant of the fact that rapid urbanization, poverty, and inequality limit planning capacities and other urban dynamics which increase people’s exposure and vulnerability to hazards and have thus turned cities into disaster hotspots across the continent.

These among other declarations are meant to steer the continent in its fight against climate change.

The Summit sought to launch a new ambition for Africa and invite partnerships with the rest of the world. It served as a platform to showcase progress, exchange perspectives, and begin to converge on common priorities for global discussions (including UNGA, G20, World Bank Group (WBG) and IMF Annual Meetings, COP28, and beyond).

It also enabled African countries to define detailed plans, shape their associated tools and investments, inform and push for reforms of the international financial architecture, share innovation, knowledge, experience, and practical approaches to deepen and expand understanding of climate challenges and opportunities, and enable Africa to renew its vision and become more assertive in pursuing a climate and development agenda through a unified approach.

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