African business leaders take climate action to COP27

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa spoke on behalf of other African CEOs at COP27 in Egypt and underscored the place of the African continent in climate action. [Twitter: @PeterNdegwa_] .

The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) that is currently underway at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt has brought together Heads of State and other leaders including African business leaders.

This year, the conference provided a unique opportunity for the African private sector to commit to ambitious climate actions for the continent.

Over 50 leading CEOs from across the continent are among thousands of delegates attending the conference in Egypt. They presented the African Business leaders climate (ABLC) statement, outlining corporate commitments and actions anchored in the goals of the Paris Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs and the United Nations Global compact ten principles.

Led by Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa, the Executives are part of the ABLC, a CEO-led initiative emanating from the UN Global Compact Africa Strategy 2021 - 2023.

Sanda Ojiambo, Assistant Secretary-General, Executive Director and CEO of the UN Global Compact noted the key role played by the African business community.

"The African business community is already changing Africa and impacting the world for the better. African companies are strengthening partnerships with critical stakeholders, especially governments, to jumpstart climate action across the continent."

The ABLC, which today has 55 signatories, brings a much-needed perspective and set of commitments to the global climate table. It reflects the strong commitment the ABLC member companies have made to driving sustainability efforts in their businesses and across their value chains and ecosystems," said Ojiambo.

Among the commitments made by the companies to galvanize climate action include; developing robust company resilience plans to improve adaptive capacity and build systemic resilience, upholding the guiding principles of a just transition as central to all climate actions and advocacy, setting targets to drastically increase the use of renewables to contribute to the continental goal of 27 per cent and contributing to a global dialogue to advance the understanding of the 'fair share' principle.

Ndegwa, speaking on behalf of the CEOs, underscored the place of the African continent in climate action.

"The historic statement brings together the African private perspective on crucial topics, something that is often missing, yet quite crucial and long overdue. It also defines the overall private sector climate action narrative for Africa, tailored to the continent's context and specific climate action and asks as seen from the African perspective," he said.

The African Business leaders have also rallied the global community to among other things; fulfill and enhance the 100-billion-dollar goal by 2023 at the latest and ensure that at least 50 per cent is invested in adaptation and resilience. They also want the global community to create an enabling environment that facilitates increased access to finance and ensures that African business can leverage global markets.

They have also called on the global community to translate climate plans, such as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), into pipelines of bankable climate projects as well as promote technology and knowledge exchange to make decarbonization and adaptation technologies and knowledge more accessible.