Uniting forces at Africa Climate Summit and Africa Climate Week to bridge the continent’s climate gaps

July 25, 2023 - Reading Time: 2 minutes - By Abigael Ndanu

The Africa Climate Summit (ACS) is a transformative event set to take place in Nairobi, Kenya, from September 4th to 6th, 2023. With the unwavering commitment of President William Ruto, this landmark summit carries the weight of a collective vision: addressing the pressing climate challenges looming over the African continent, both locally and globally.

Africa bears the brunt of climate change, despite contributing minimally to greenhouse gas emissions. Devastating extreme weather events, rising sea levels, desertification, and prolonged droughts are already affecting millions across the continent. The ACS aims to unite African nations, foster collective climate action and advocate for equitable global policies.

Running concurrently with the ACS, the Africa Climate Week (ACW), from September 4th to 8th, 2023, provides an essential platform for policymakers, businesses, civil society, and practitioners to share climate solutions, overcome barriers, and seize opportunities specific to different regions. The culmination of this exchange will be the first global stocktake during COP28 in UAE in December of the same year.

By serving as a catalyst, the Summit seeks to influence commitments, pledges, and outcomes, ultimately culminating in the development of the Nairobi Declaration.

The Africa Climate Week will focus on four major systems-based tracks, which will contribute region-specific insights for the global stocktake on:

  • Energy systems and industry
  •  Cities, urban and rural settlements, infrastructure, and transport
  • Land, ocean, food, and water
  •  Societies, health, livelihoods, and economies

Historically, Africa has been inadequately represented in international climate negotiations, with insufficient financial assistance to combat its climate challenges. This has hindered the implementation of effective climate adaptation and mitigation measures. While the ACS and ACW represent crucial strides towards addressing the climate gap, their success in closing the divide depends on several critical factors as highlighted below;

  • Commitment from International Partners – Africa’s climate efforts require support through financial aid, technology transfer, and capacity-building initiatives from international partners.
  • Inclusive Decision-Making – To ensure comprehensive and effective climate policies, diverse stakeholders, including marginalised communities, women, and youth, must actively participate and be represented in decision-making processes.
  • Collaboration between African Nations – By sharing experiences and working together on solutions, African countries can collectively address the continent’s diverse climate gaps.
  • Policy Implementation – Concrete actions must follow the discussions at the summit. Encouragement and support for African nations in implementing agreements and commitments made during the ACS & ACW are crucial.

These events in Kenya present an opportunity for African countries, particularly Kenya, to advocate for their climate needs and collaborate with international partners in addressing the climate gap. The success of these two events will be measured by their ability to empower Africa to take the lead in charting its climate future and securing the necessary support to implement robust climate solutions.

To attend either of these events, find the link for registration – https://africaclimatesummit.org/ & https://unfccc.int/climate-action/regional-climate-weeks#Regional-Climate-Weeks-Background

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