By Kayeli Ian
African Heads of State and Government have adopted the Nairobi declaration on climate action at the end of the African climate summit held in Nairobi, Kenya, on 6 September 2023. The declaration highlights the continent’s potential as a green powerhouse and calls for urgent and concerted action from all nations to lower emissions and reduce the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The declaration was signed by 54 African leaders, representing all the regional economic communities and the African Union. The summit was convened by the African Union in collaboration with the government of Kenya.
The declaration reflects the common vision and commitment of African leaders to address the climate crisis and its impacts on the continent, which is home to 17% of the world’s population but contributes only 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The declaration also recognizes the continent’s rich natural resources, renewable energy potential, and innovative solutions that can contribute to a low-carbon and climate-resilient development.
Among the key resolutions agreed upon by the African leaders are:
The declaration also reaffirms the African leaders’ support for the Paris Agreement on climate change and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It also expresses solidarity with other vulnerable regions, such as small island developing states and least developed countries, in their efforts to cope with the impacts of climate change.
The declaration is expected to inform and influence the upcoming COP28 conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where world leaders will gather to review progress and set new targets for global climate action. The declaration also sets the stage for enhanced cooperation and coordination among African countries and partners in implementing their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.
The Nairobi declaration is a historic milestone for Africa’s leadership and ambition on climate action. It demonstrates the continent’s determination to play its part in tackling the climate crisis and seizing the opportunities of a green future. It also sends a strong message to the world that Africa is ready to lead by example and work with others in building a more sustainable and resilient planet.