No industrialised nation on course to reach net-zero goals

President William Ruto speaks on the second day of the Africa Climate Change Summit. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

President William Ruto has said that none of the industrialised nations will achieve net-zero goals by 2050.

Ruto said it was good for Africa to confront some basic truths.

The president said that unlocking Africa’s potential to undertake economic transformation alongside a green energy drive is the most feasible way to attain a net-zero world by 2050.

"Africa’s capacity to limit its own emissions is the clearest pathway to enable the world to achieve its climate action targets. Africa’s opportunity is a global opportunity, and a chance for humanity to redeem its inter-generational legacy," said Ruto.

Speaking on the second day of the Africa Climate Change Summit, he said that experts have consistently demonstrated, from analysing available evidence and making projections, that this can be achieved while generating jobs in their millions, creating enormous investment opportunities and catalysing unprecedented economic growth.

The president said under a proper green growth paradigm, climate action also serves as a robust engine for poverty reduction, employment and wealth creation and economic transformation.

"By definition, effective climate action must entail technological leapfrogging to disrupt and invert the industrial development pathway and go green first. It must also involve effective decarbonisation of global production and supply chains, and deliberate efforts to remove carbon from the atmosphere at scale," said Ruto.

Ruto said that to achieve green growth, Africa has committed to move with speed to develop the necessary instruments, institutions, policies and strategies through which they will design and implement incentives that will accelerate the delivery of priority actions.

He noted that as leaders they also support the youth, especially those in enterprise, to embrace innovation and deliver local solutions for the benefit of communities, and at the same time attract other African and international investors to finance climate action.

"Every step of this journey will require partnership that facilitate collaboration and multilateral collective action to achieve ‘just development financing mechanisms,’ deliver equitable access to markets for Africa’s green products and services, and a ‘just regime’ that provides liquidity, debt- relief and affordable investment capital everywhere on our continent," said Ruto

The head of state said that prosperity cannot and must not be pursued in a zero-sum, exclusive fashion, because the resulting injustice and inequity are the drivers of inequality, poverty, conflict and activities that threaten biodiversity and encourage pollution.

Ruto said it had taken tremendous courage, effort, and determination to leave behind the old continent, that was historically profiled with intense negativity.