Nairobi declaration is a resounding victory for African countries

The Africa Climate Summit represented a momentous leap as African nations came together to forge homegrown solutions and construct a durable financial foundation for addressing climate change.

This historic gathering saw African countries united in their resounding call for immediate climate action and the acquisition of essential financial resources to combat its far-reaching impacts.

Undoubtedly, the summit represented a watershed moment for the continent. As a member of the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA), I find it inspiring that Africa has taken a substantial step towards becoming a proactive global participant, reshaping the multilateral financial model.

The summit brought together over 10,000 participants. Their primary objective was to engage in discussions and strategic planning for climate solutions. At the heart of the summit’s accomplishments stood the momentous unveiling of the Nairobi Declaration. This groundbreaking statement not only calls for a significant upsurge in climate financing for Africa but also binds African nations to ambitious climate objectives, embracing actions such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and substantial investments in renewable energy.

The Nairobi Declaration serves as a resounding victory for African countries, sending an unequivocal message to the world that Africa stands firmly committed to climate action and is capable of uniting to demand concrete results.

While the summit marked significant progress for the continent in addressing climate change, Africa must now turn its gaze inward and marshal resources among its member states to effectively translate the Nairobi Declaration into action.

This compelling call to action was vociferously sounded by several keynote speakers at the summit, including presidents William Ruto, Salva Kiir (South Sudan), and Isaias Afwerki (Eritrea). They cogently argued that Africa should seek alternatives to external assistance in combating climate change, emphasising the importance of African countries pooling their resources and expertise.

A multitude of avenues exist for African nations to mobilise resources among themselves. One such route involves leveraging the regional economic communities (RECs), such as COMESA, EAC, ECOWAS and SADC which already possess established mechanisms for cooperation and coordination. These RECs can facilitate the mobilisation of human and capital resources, foster peer-to-peer guidance and knowledge exchange and formulate collaborative climate action plans.

Additionally, public-private partnerships can be instrumental in mobilising resources. The private sector boasts abundant expertise and resources that can be harnessed to combat climate change. African nations can collaborate with the private sector to conceptualise and execute climate-friendly projects.

Lastly, innovative financing mechanisms, notably through the sale of carbon credits, offer a compelling avenue for resource mobilisation. These mechanisms can attract investments in climate-friendly projects and provide financial aid to vulnerable communities.

The discussion surrounding carbon credits also held significant weight during the summit. Carbon credits, which are tradable permits allowing for a specific level of greenhouse gas emissions, present an opportunity for Africa to not only address its climate vulnerabilities but also contribute solutions to the global climate crisis.

Africa, accounting for a mere 4 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, is strategically positioned to generate carbon credits through the development of renewable energy and enhanced energy efficiency measures such as harnessing solar and wind energy and improving building infrastructure and appliances.