Emerging Kenya’s climate diplomacy
Kenya is playing a leading role in shaping the climate diplomacy of African countries. Despite contributing minimally to global warming, Africa is highly vulnerable to its effects. However, the international community has not provided sufficient resources and support to address the continent’s climate challenges, according to the Economist’s article.
African leaders are calling on wealthy countries to fulfill their financial pledges to spend $100 billion annually by 2020 to help developing countries combat climate change. They also urge the implementation of a fund for “loss and damage,” promised at the COP summit the previous year. Africa is not only facing a lack of financial resources, but also an incipient debt crisis, with 21 sub-Saharan African countries in debt distress or at high risk.
Western policies pose additional concerns for Africa’s trade and competitiveness. American subsidies for renewable energy could make African firms less competitive and increase import costs. The European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, which taxes carbon-intensive imports, is seen as a hindrance to African industrialization, potentially reducing African exports to the EU by 6%.
The article suggests that African countries should focus on what they can control, such as creating an attractive investment climate. Kenya, for example, aims to attract climate-related investments for industrialization. Kenya has also amended its climate-change act and lifted the moratorium on renewable energy deals, implementing an auction system for new projects. The country hopes that carbon credits can become a significant source of export earnings.
However, critics argue that Kenya’s approach might divert attention from the pursuit of climate justice. Some African leaders question why their countries should not be allowed to use fossil fuels for economic growth, as others have done.
American and European leaders are endorsing African efforts to develop carbon markets and green energy projects. They hope that other African countries will follow Kenya’s lead in utilizing clean energy and climate finance for industrialization.
In conclusion, the article sheds light on the challenges faced by Africa in addressing climate change and calls for greater support and resources from the international community. It emphasizes the importance of finding a balance between sustainable development and climate justice to achieve a comprehensive and equitable response to climate change in Africa.