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Africa Climate Summit

On September 4, 2023, the first Africa Climate Summit was held in Nairobi, Kenya. The Summit was designed to address Africa’s frequent exposure to climate change and to form a consensus on Africa’s position on global climate change. President Ruto, the leader of Kenya, led the Summit through various debates and prompts, such as how to implement international climate finance for Africa and how to harness Africa’s renewable energy potential. Its purpose was to inform, influence commitments, and design solutions that will ultimately lead to the adoption of the Nairobi Declaration as the basis for Africa’s position on climate change.


(President William Ruto of Kenya speaking at the Africa Climate Summit 2023, CNN)


The Summit considered four major systems to provide a region-focused perspective:

1. Energy systems and industry.

2. Cities, urban and rural settlements, infrastructure and transport.

3.. Land, ocean, food, and water.

4. Societies, health, livelihoods, and economies.


Mainly, they stressed that African countries face different barriers and risks and that a fairer financial system is needed. The main problem the Summit highlighted was the difficulty in reducing carbon emissions due to the lack of funding by more industrialized countries. In the past, many countries viewed investing in Africa’s infrastructure as risky and dangerous due to widespread corruption, economic and political instability, and heavy debt. Within the Summit, investors have already announced $23 billion dollars to be invested in clean energy products such as solar grids and reforestation. Currently, African countries are trying to encourage global powers to invest in their infrastructure as Africa is the future for renewable energy.


Ultimately, they urged the world to have a global carbon tax on the fossil fuel trade, maritime transport, and aviation. By being more environmentally responsible, financial equality is more likely to be achieved. Urgent action is required to stop these climate crises. Overall, Africa’s message of unity was split, as many major African countries, such as Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, and Sudan, did not attend. While Africa is prime for being a global leader in adopting clean energy, the world’s industrialized and wealthiest countries must invest in Africa rather than giving aid simply when crises occur.


How can you help?

By spreading awareness about climate change, you could greatly help educate the public. You can also sign petitions, talk to your local politicians, and donate to climate change organizations such as GreenPeace.



Extra steps you can take:

  1. Joining Kids Fight Climate Change: If you want to make climate change news and information more accessible, you should consider joining us! Check out this link: Join the Team | Kids Fight Climate Change: Youth Climate Education. There are more opportunities than just writing, including designing, editing, speaking, and publishing.

  2. Volunteering at advocacy groups: VolunteerMatch is a great resource to find volunteer opportunities, virtual and in-person. Check out this link: VolunteerMatch

If neither of those options applies to you, there are still ways to raise awareness! Simply by sharing articles such as this one, you are doing your part to spread important climate information. That is activism.



Sources

Bearak, Max. 2023. “At Africa’s First Climate Summit, a Clear Call to the World: Invest in US.” The New York Times. The New York Times. September 6. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/06/climate/africa-climate-summit.html.


“Africa Climate Summit 23.” 2023. ACS 23. Accessed September 12. https://africaclimatesummit.org/side-events.


UNECA. 2023. “Africa Climate Summit: Nairobi Declaration Makes Strong Push for Accelerated Climate Action and Financing Mechanisms | Africa Renewal.” United Nations. United Nations. September 8. https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/september-2023/africa-climate-summit-nairobi-declaration-makes-strong-push-accelerated.


Prisco, Jacopo. 2023. “Billions Pledged at Africa Climate Summit, but Leaders Warn of Need ‘to Act with Urgency.’” CNN. Cable News Network. September 7. https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/07/africa/billions-pledged-at-africa-climate-summit-scn-spc-intl/index.html.


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