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Kenya to host African Climate Summit in September

Kenya is set to host the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi in September this year, a forum that will bring together a high-level delegation from Africa and other parts of the globe to find practical solutions to mitigate climate effects.

The event, co-hosted by Kenya government and the African Union Commission, with President William Ruto as the Chairperson of the summit, is scheduled to take place from September 4–6 this year at Kenyatta International Convention Centre.

Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya said the summit will present an opportunity for Africa to showcase its resources to the world and to drive a green growth agenda through a low-carbon development pathway that enables the world to decarbonize fast and cost effectively.

The CS, who was briefing the media on the forthcoming event held at the Summit Secretariat offices at 316 Upper Hill Chambers Building, said Africa’s critical minerals and opportunities for local processing on the continent can enable the reduction of greenhouse gases that warm the world while at the same time creating green jobs for the growing population.

She said Africa has vast potential for renewable energy and singled out Kenya’s renewable energy in the national electricity grid, which is currently at 92 percent.

“Africa also hosts a vast amount of uncultivated arable land, which is an opportunity for the continent to serve as the global breadbasket. These solutions are what the world is looking for and they are all here in Africa; we bring them to the world at the Summit,” Soipan stated.

The CS noted that the wildfires, heat waves, devastating floods and other natural disasters that have been threatening to make parts of the planet inhabitable, citing Africa, North America, Asia and Europe, where unprecedented high temperatures have been witnessed.

“The United Nations estimates that we have lost 1.23 million lives in 7,348 major disasters worldwide over the last two decades, while the global disasters report shows that nearly 85 percent of all disasters have been caused by extreme weather and climate conditions over the decade,” she added.

Soipan said the Africa summit will be used to highlight the climate change development nexus and show the linkage between Africa’s debt distress and its inability to have sufficient capital to conduct adaptation and mitigation interventions for climate change as a result of debt.

She further noted that the event, which is expected to host a delegation of over 10,000 people, will also make proposals to have the multinational development banks reconsider how they deal with Africa’s debt to avoid African countries and countries in the global south going into distress.

“Africa will be proposing a new global climate finance architecture that will be timely, responsive and at scale in helping conduct global climate change interventions,” she said.

The CS added, “Africa has the answers to the global climate crisis. What is lacking are financial resources to unlock the continent’s immense potential to help the world decarbonize and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Participants at the event include government delegations, representatives of  United Nations Agencies, multilateral development institutions, private sector and captains of industry, philanthropies, international and national non-state actors, non- governmental organisations, civil society organisations, youth and women representatives, as well as delegates from research and academia.

Present at the event were the Principal Secretary State Department for Environment and Climate Change, Eng. Festus Ng’eno and the African Union Commission Director of Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy, Mr. Harsen Nyambe, among others.

By Bernadette Khaduli

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