Transforming Africa’s Climate Narrative: Time for Urgent Action

As African leaders convene in Nairobi to address the escalating climate crises, the call for immediate action to mitigate their global impact reverberates loudly.

The One Campaign is urging all leaders to seize this critical moment to unite behind a shared pan-African agenda, one that prioritizes justice and prosperity for the continent.

The Africa Climate Summit, themed “Driving Green Growth and Climate Finance Solutions for Africa and the World,” offers African leaders a platform to challenge prevailing narratives that portray Africa as a passive recipient, and instead, to highlight the continent’s strength and capability to take a leading role in the fight against climate change and nature loss. This is a moment that demands active participation in the search for solutions.

African nations are among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and possess significant natural assets that could offer global climate solutions.

Despite this, the continent receives a disproportionately small share of global climate finance compared to other regions. The estimated annual cost of Africa’s climate adaptation by 2050 is a staggering US$50 billion, and the region boasts the world’s highest potential for renewable energy.

Yet, Africa currently receives a mere US$19.5 billion per year in total climate finance, with only 3% of global investment in clean energy directed towards the continent.

In light of these disparities, ONE is urging all leaders to leverage the Summit as a catalyst for implementing the following policy changes, marking the beginning of a journey towards a more balanced trade environment and a more resilient African economy:

  1. Commitment to Triple Funding: Call upon World Bank shareholders and donor governments to commit to tripling grants and loans from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), potentially delivering an additional $1.2 trillion in finance by 2030.
  2. Double Adaptation Finance: Urge donor governments to fulfill their commitment to double adaptation finance and establish a needs-based framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation, complete with targets and indicators.
  3. Streamline Special Drawing Rights: Remove barriers hindering the recycling of Special Drawing Rights through multilateral development banks, with a particular focus on the African Development Bank.

Serah Makka, Director for Africa at The ONE Campaign, emphasized that unlocking the untapped potential of the continent does not require handouts or recycled solutions from wealthy nations.

What it demands is the removal of barriers obstructing our path. African countries possess the tools, talent, and renewable resources necessary to drive their own growth and lead the charge against climate change, poverty, and inequality globally.

“No nation should have to choose between improving the lives of its citizens and safeguarding the planet. If the world rallies behind Africa, it can ignite a green economic revolution that promotes growth and prosperity across the continent, addressing the most pressing global challenges.”

Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, Africa Union Commissioner in charge of Agriculture, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Environment, added that Africa accounts for a mere 3.8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, a stark contrast to the 23 percent in China, 19 percent in the US, and 13 percent in the European Union.

“The continent is the most vulnerable to climate change hazards. Ahead of COP28, Africa must negotiate not from a position of victimhood but as a source of solutions. As a continent, we possess all the necessary resources to mitigate the challenges posed by climate change.

She calls upon development partners to honor their promise made in the Paris Agreement to invest $100 billion in mitigating Africa’s climate challenges.

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