Africa Climate Summit outcomes: Nairobi Declaration and other climate action commitments

  • 11 Sep 2023
  • 2 Mins Read
  • 〜 by Naisiae Simiren

The African Climate Summit organised by the African Union was the highlight of Africa’s role in climate action. This
week, Kenya made headlines as it hosted global leaders, private sectors, banks, intergovernmental organizations,
and civil society organisations at KICC, Nairobi. The pressing issues discussed at the Summit included climate financing, climate action, food security and clean cooking energy. The culmination of the Summit led to various commitments including but not limited to policy and financial commitments.
Members and organisations made several declarations such as the Nairobi Declaration, the Private Sector Statement,
and the Youth Declaration. African political and business leaders agreed that more needed to be done to attain
the agreed-upon goal of limiting global warming to 15°C as set out in the Paris Agreement. To this end, approximately USD23 billion was pledged at the Summit which President William Ruto highlighted as one of the greatest achievements of the Summit. The financial commitment was a result of substantial contributions from European nations and significant investments from private sectors.
The African Leaders Nairobi Declaration reiterated the need for operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund agreed in Egypt last year during the COP27. The Declaration called upon members to mobilise the necessary capital
for development and climate action. Climate financing was a critical issue in the Summit noting the need for climate
change mitigation measures. The Declaration further called for various actions from the African countries and
the rest of the world, among them green industrialisation which entails the transition of energy-intense industries
to convert to green energy through usage of renewable energy. Execution of Kenya’s Green Hydrogen Strategy
with the European Union will benefit Kenya’s achievement in accelerating green industrialisation. This is because
the Strategy is expected to drive and accelerate green manufacturing and create thousands of new value chain
jobs in addition to attracting private investment.
Additionally, there was a commitment to provide resources on green energy by raising 20% financing on the share
of renewable energy. Notably, the UAE committed USD 4.5 billion to boosting renewable energy with significant
investments from private sector entities like Masdar, PowerGen, Leapfrog, Cross Boundary and Husk Power, emphasizing renewable energy initiatives.
The issue of carbon taxation was also raised, and Kenya was commended for the Climate Change (Amendment) Act
2023 which provides for carbon trading. The Nairobi Declaration called upon the utilization of Africa’s natural capital wealth which plays a critical role in reducing global carbon emissions. The African leaders called upon global leaders to accelerate global decarbonization, while pursuing equality and shared prosperity.
The Africa Climate Summit, as the first of its kind to bring African countries together, deserves recognition for its
significant role in laying the groundwork for the upcoming COP28 conference in UAE scheduled for November. The
Nairobi Declaration determined that the Summit should occur biennially, to provide an opportunity for the African
continent to address emerging global climate and development concerns.
Countries in the global south have always called for implementation of the USD100 billion from the global north. While the Summit culminated in extensive policy commitments, the key concern is the implementation of the USD 23 billion financial commitment from the different actors.