COP27: President William Ruto's call to African countries on climate action

President William Ruto gives an address during COP27 at Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. [State House]

President William has urged African countries to embrace unity in capacity building and technology development as a key enabler of climate action in vulnerable populations.

Speaking during the African leader's forum on accelerating adaption in Africa on Tuesday in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Ruto said climate finance remains the single most critical enabler in unlocking climate action and addressing adaptation in vulnerable communities of the Global South.

"Climate change has emerged as one of the greatest threats to life on earth. It is also a very serious challenge to human well-being globally, with particular intensity on the African continent. The sixth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published in August 2021, has singled out Africa as singularly vulnerable to climate and weather extremes," he said.

Ruto noted the escalation of global warming is worsening climate impacts, putting countries at serious risk of adaptation limits being quickly overwhelmed, leading to unbearable loss and damage.

"Every slight increase in warming has far-reaching and often irreversible negative effects. Warming at rates in excess of 1.5C could trigger multiple tipping points that would fundamentally alter the Earth's climate systems.," the president said.

Ruto further called for speedy capitalisation of existing climate finance mechanisms in an effort mobilise financing for climate change.

"The window for action is fast closing and the onus squarely falls upon the current world leaders to stand up as the generation that can be counted on to take hard decisions but do the right thing. We cannot afford to continue ignoring the urgent warnings of science with impunity," he added.

"There is no more room to ignore, evade or delay calls for substantial cuts in emissions, especially by the big emitters. Unless significant emission reduction is achieved rapidly, the adaptation gap continues to widen".

The president held that failure to implement the deliverables of the Climate change conference will lead to dire humanitarian consequences.

"This is an action moment, a financial moment, and a moral moment for global leadership. We must rise to meet it without flinching," he told delegates.