Africa Climate Summit.

A Historical Africa Climate Summit held in Nairobi Kenya Spearheaded by The African Union.

Introduction.

The Africa Climate Summit and the Africa Climate Week Held at KICC
Nairobi from Sept 4-8.

The Summit provided an opportunity for an African Leaders Nairobi Declaration on Green Growth and Climate Finance Solutions, and for a Call to Action for African Union Member States and supporting partners to champion its delivery. It launched a new ambition for Africa and invited partnerships with the rest of the world. The summit 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 enabled African countries to define detailed plans, shape their associated tools and investments, informed and pushed for reforms of the international financial architecture, shared innovation, knowledge, experience, and practical approaches to deepen and expand understanding of climate challenges and opportunities, and enabled Africa to renew its vision and become more assertive in pursuing a climate and development agenda through a unified approach.

Furthermore, the Summit provided a platform to address the intersection of climate change, Africa’s development, and the need for increased global investment in climate action, particularly in Africa. It was also an opportunity for Africa to consolidate its united voice on matters of climate change, sustainable development and to mobilize support for the implementation of continental programmes and policies such as the African Union Climate Change and Resilient Development Strategy and Action Plan.

 

Below are some of the key components discussed at the Africa Climate Summit based on the sub themes.

a)Locally Led Adaptation moderated by Principal Secretary Ministry of Environment, Climate change and forestry
Emphasis on empowering local communities to take climate action, this means that while carrying
adaptation as an organization or the state, the community must be at the very heart of that particular
program driving the agenda. The advocacy agenda must include the local Community as well as the
research conducted must be locally driven.
It Showcased successful grassroots initiatives and community-driven adaptation projects that have been
across the continent.
This high level side event Highlighted the importance of indigenous knowledge and traditional practices
in adaptation strategies this includes the early warning systems environmental behaviours and many more
that are so authentic even today.
b) Water Investment in Africa:
In recognition of the critical need for sustainable water management in the face of climate change that
was chaired by the Cabinet secretary for water Hon. Alice Wahome
Discussions on innovative financing mechanisms for water infrastructure projects took center stage in that
panel.
They Emphasized on the link between access to clean water and climate resilience mechanisms.
On Climate Resilience, Climate change is leading to increased variability in weather patterns, including
more frequent and severe droughts and floods. Water projects, such as improved irrigation systems and
water storage facilities, enhance resilience by ensuring a consistent and accessible water supply, even
during extreme weather events. By doing so we enhance our food security through climate smart
Agriculture. Agriculture is a cornerstone of many African economies. Adequate water resources are
essential for crop production and livestock, making investments in water projects vital for ensuring food
security. Irrigation systems, for example, can significantly boost agricultural productivity.
C) REDD+ Strategies and Impacts through the Ministry of Environment and forestry.
REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) discussed as a key tool for
preserving African forests this session was conducted by Africa Conservation.
Insights into the progress of REDD+ programs and their positive impacts on carbon sequestration and
biodiversity conservation in Africa came out so strongly.
Challenges such as governance, land tenure, and benefit-sharing was addressed within the African context
although REDD+ was not explained in details by the facilitators to shade some more light on what exactly
are REDD+, however this came out quite well as one of the best mechanism to enhance forest
conservation and reduce Carbon emissions while trying to achieve the national forest cover target of 10%
as set out in the Paris Agreement in COP 21.
d) The First Lady’s Pavilion (Forests Conservation and Afforestation):
The session was centered on Promoting the role of forests in climate mitigation and biodiversity
conservation considering the fact that climate change tends to affect women and children the most.
It Highlighted efforts to increase afforestation and restoration of degraded lands and forest across the
continent.
This session, having been steered by the first lady of the Republic of Kenya, it clearly Showcased the
intent of women leadership in conservation and sustainable forestry, the women on the panel discussions
gave out some very relevant statistics on the state of our tree cover and the forest cover across all the 47
counties showing Nyeri County as the leading county with 40.8% while Siaya County has the least with
0.23% Forest cover. Calling on more women to join in the movement to conserve our highly degraded
environment.
e) Renewable energy/Green energy;
Green or renewable energy plays a crucial role in combating climate change and global warming, as
outlined in the Paris Agreement. Here are some key points: One of the key discussions at the summit
revolved around energy transition and the adoption of renewable energy sources. African nations
recognized the importance of shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions. Participants emphasized the need for increased investments in solar, wind, hydro, and
geothermal energy projects across the continent to enhance energy security and reduce carbon footprints.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Green energy sources such as wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal
power generate electricity without emitting greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide. By replacing fossil
fuels in power generation and transportation, green energy helps reduce emissions, a primary driver of
global warming, In addition to mitigation, green energy technologies can support adaptation and
resilience efforts. For example, distributed renewable energy systems can provide power during extreme
weather events when centralized grids may fail.
– Global Cooperation: The Paris Agreement encourages countries to work together to limit global
warming. Renewable energy is a unifying factor, as it can be harnessed by countries worldwide, fostering
international collaboration.
To achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, it is essential to transition from fossil fuels to renewable
energy sources, reduce emissions, and enhance the sustainability of our energy systems. This transition is
a critical step in mitigating climate change and limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius
above pre-industrial levels, as outlined in the agreement.
f) Climate Finance and Carbon Credits;
Climate finance was a central point of deliberation, with a focus on mobilizing funds for climate
mitigation and adaptation projects. The summit discussed innovative financial instruments, including
carbon credits and carbon pricing mechanisms, to incentivize emissions reduction and generate revenue
for climate initiatives, although this was missing on our Climate Change Act of 2016 there was an
amendment that was done earlier this year called the Climate Change Act of 2023 sponsored by the
Government of Kenya to anchor the aspect of Carbon finance and and carbon markets.
g) Declaration by Africa Heads of States Ahead of COP28:
A strong Commitment to ambitious climate action goals to limit global warming as anticipated in the
UNFCCC, Paris Agreement and the Africa agenda 2063. The summit provided a platform for African
nations to come together and chart a collective path towards a more sustainable and climate-resilient
future. The discussions and commitments made across the six sub themes highlighted the importance of
addressing climate change holistically and collaboratively. As African nations continue to face the
challenges of a changing climate, the summit served as a vital step towards achieving a more sustainable
and resilient continent
Deliberate Calls for increased international community support and climate finance solutions for African
nations
Pledged to enhance climate resilience, reduce emissions, and transition to renewable/Green energy
sources.
For the first time in history heads of states Advocated for a unified African voice at the upcoming COP 28
in Dubai.
These key points reflect the diverse and critical discussions that took place at the Africa Climate Summit,
addressing various aspects of climate change and adaptation in the youngest Continent of Africa.
The Olive Branch Africa