Written by Diana Aukby

The Africa Climate Summit, hosted by the Kenyan government, kicked off on the 4th September and announced an African collateral effort to battle against the ever growing environment issues on the continent. The main objective of this summit is to unite the African leaders and society to discuss adaptable solutions and innovations  for climate change. The African continent, according to Kenya’s President William Ruto, has great potential to lead the world stage in climate sustainability and a fossil fuel free future as it has an abundance of renewable energy, such as solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower.

However, as the continent is dubbed the least developed continent, with 34 of the 49 poorest countries of the world, its financial structure and development might hinder the continent’s climate ambition. The continent has the third least annual CO2 emissions (3,7%), compared to Asia (53%), North America (18%) and Europe (17%). Regardless, the African continent experiences the worst environmental impacts of climate change. Thus, President William Ruto has called on the developed countries to provide Africa with an annual $100 billion budget in climate finance. This international financial support in addition to the debt relief solution stated at the previous Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference (COP27) could accelerate Africa’s climate battle. This COP27 debt-for-adaptations swap principle gives creditors, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the option to forgive the debt so the relevant countries could use the money that should have been repaid to these institutions, for climate adaptation and innovation projects.

The reasoning for this debt relief lies in the fact that wealthier countries, such as Europe, North America and China, have a massive responsibility for the enormous rise in carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as a consequence of the Industrial Revolution of these states. Thus, creating the current climate emergency as we know it and curbing the same industrial development for the African continent and other underdeveloped and developing countries. Nonetheless, it is important to bear in mind that the fight against climate change is an international issue. A global unity in all sectors, from technology to finance, is needed to save humankind and nature, regardless of a country’s classifications.

In conclusion, this historical African Climate Summit has given the African continent a more prominent global recognition and exposure. Therefore, ensuring an influx of sponsors and inter-continental projects to accelare the battle against climate change while stabilizing the African financial structure.


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