Africa calls for increased influence and funding at Kenya’s climate summit

Leaders from over twelve African nations are set to participate in the inaugural African Climate Summit. This summit marks Africa’s effort to amplify its global influence on the critical issue of climate change, despite contributing the least to the problem. The summit is a collaborative initiative between Kenyan President William Ruto’s administration and the African Union, aiming to secure increased international support and financing for the continent’s climate initiatives.

“We have viewed the climate crisis as a problem for a long time, but it also presents significant opportunities,” stated Ruto, emphasizing the potential for multibillion-dollar economic prospects, the development of new financial structures, Africa’s abundant mineral resources, and the vision of shared prosperity. He stressed that the purpose of the discussion was not merely to list grievances.

However, there is growing frustration in Africa as it is urged to adopt cleaner development practices while the world’s wealthiest nations, responsible for the majority of emissions causing climate change, have not fulfilled their promises of support to the continent.

Mithika Mwenda of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance asserted that Africa’s time has come, highlighting that the annual climate assistance provided to the continent is just a fraction of what is required and significantly less than the budgets of some polluting companies.

In 2020, over $83 billion in climate financing was directed to developing countries, representing a 4 percent increase from the previous year. Nonetheless, this fell short of the $100 billion annual target set in 2009.