Uhuru leads other Presidents to call for a healthy environment, billions pledged for green economy

President Uhuru Kenyatta signs an agreement of "Action on the conservation and preservation of African Forests" after attending the One Planet Summit (OPS)and the Fourth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-IV) at the United Nations Office (UNON)Complex, Nairobi. Present is France President Emmanuel Macron. [Photo: Standard]

Donors have pledged at least $47.5 billion (Sh4.7tr) to help Africa deal with effects of climate change as calls to adopt renewable energy dominated the launch of a UN conference.

World Bank interim President Kristalina Georgieva said they would provide $22.5 billion (more than Sh2.2 trillion) for five years from 2021 to 2025 to help Africa adapt to climate and prevent adverse effects.

Ms Georgieva spoke during the third One Planet Summit and official launch of the fourth UN Environment Assembly (UNEA4) in Nairobi, yesterday. 

“This will help African countries manage the risks of a changing climate while unlocking new investment opportunities. This will amount to about $12 billion-$12.5 billion (Sh1.2 trillion to Sh1.25 trillion) over five years from 2021 to 2025,” she said.

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“People across Africa are already experiencing the growing impacts of climate change. This region is particularly vulnerable to increasing floods, droughts and destructive storms,” Ms Georgieva said.

On his part, African Development Bank (AfDB) President Adesina Akinwumi said $3 trillion (Sh300 trillion) was needed to actualise the Paris agreement on climate change.

“AfDB banks is pledging $25 billion (Sh2.5 trillion) towards climate change, mostly in renewable energy, and we are also giving $12 billion (Sh1.2 trillion) for the next five years for adaptation and mitigation projects,” Dr Akinwumi said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta told the 4,700 delegates that the world needed to focus more on sustainable global food systems that ensure little wastage, but provide more food for all.

“Let us integrate climate action in our national goals and adopt a waste and resource management system like the one Kenya uses of five Rs-reduce, re-use, recycle, reformulate and re-manufacture,” Uhuru said.

His French counterpart Emmanuel Macron called on the world to protect nature and biodiversity.

“We need to enact environmental laws that are timely. To date, there is no international law on environment. Given the situation, we need to have a law with binding rules that can be applied internationally,” he said. 

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said: “We are not only responsible for securing the world for human beings but also for all living things. Let us use less oil and more of renewable energy to achieve this.”

Madagascar President Andy Rajoelina said his government had embarked on major environment restoration projects to protect the earth.

Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi said his efforts would be geared towards protecting the Congo basin, the second largest ecosystem after the Amazon in Brazil.

Rwanda Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente said it was a critical time for humanity, that was challenged with coming up with solutions to climate change.

UN Deputy Secretary Amina Mohammed called for urgent actions to solve the environment crisis.

DonorsSh4.7trUN conferenceWorld BankPresident Kristalina GeorgievaUNEA4AfDB