Call for genuine climate leadership from African leaders as climate summit kicks off

  • As the Africa Climate Summit begins in Nairobi this week, grassroots groups and climate activists from across the continent will be holding African leaders to account to deliver concrete climate action and plans to address the continent’s pressing needs. 

“ We are calling on African governments to prioritize the needs of the African people and deliver adequate measures to address the climate crisis, energy poverty and interlinked challenges. African nations need to prioritize green renewable energy targets rooted in justice over fossil fuels and false solutions and push for substantial global investments to support the clean energy transition in Africa.” Charity Migwi, Regional Campaigner, said.

Climate activists are also appealing to African leaders to hold developing nations historically responsible for the climate crisis accountable to scale up financing for robust mitigation and adaptation measures. Ahead of other regional climate summits and the COP 28 UN climate talks, the summit is seen as an opportunity for Africa to offer leadership and set the stage for climate action that prioritizes the communities at the frontlines of the climate crisis, more so on the most climate-vulnerable continent – Africa.

Zaki Mamdoo, Climate activist and Coordinator, Stop EACOP Coalition

“The Africa Climate Summit could provide the platform needed for the continent to dramatically shift its trajectory and future- from one that is set to bear the brunt of climate collapse, to one of energy-security and prosperity driven by decentralised and people-centred renewables. For this to happen, African leaders will need to rise to the occasion and make firm commitments to significantly upscale renewable energy developments while resisting and withdrawing any and all support for exploitative and destructive projects like the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). This is an imperative that will define the fate of all our people and, if done in a manner that is just and equitable, would serve to address our interlocking crises of hunger, joblessness, poverty and exclusion. Going into this summit, we are calling on African leaders to embrace the interests and will of the people and in doing so, we would expect them to throw their weight behind renewables and push for the redirection of financing to renewable energy.”

Patricia Bekoe, Climate activist, 350 Ghana Reducing Our Ghana

“As Africans we need to plant seeds of change that ignite a green legacy for generations to come, that alleviates energy poverty while addressing the climate crisis. It is crucial that we address the key barriers facing renewable energy in Africa and facilitate the widespread deployment of renewable energy rooted in justice. The summit offers a chance for African nations to jointly devise measures to bolster clean energy goals across the region and set the stage for ambitious global renewable energy targets.”

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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