Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and President-Designate of COP28, President William Samoei Ruto of Kenya, and African Union Commission Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat have released a joint statement outlining their shared commitment to advancing ambitious climate action during the Global Stocktake year.
Their collaboration is centered around the Africa Climate Summit and COP28, both crucial milestones in their mission to expedite a just and equitable transition to low-carbon, high-growth, sustainable socioeconomic models while significantly increasing climate finance.
Africa, a continent rich in potential, possesses abundant renewable energy resources and boasts a youthful population, making it a region with enormous promise. However, it also harbors many of the world’s most climate-vulnerable nations despite contributing less than 3 percent of global energy-related carbon emissions and having the lowest per capita emissions. With the Africa Climate Summit and COP28 rapidly approaching, their actions are pivotal in developing adaptive capacities and ensuring that the 1.5°C warming target remains attainable.
Both summits represent crucial steps toward realizing their collective priority of fostering a sustainable energy transition that includes everyone and is underpinned by substantial climate financing. The Africa Climate Summit serves as a platform for discussing vital perspectives, solutions, and priorities in the fight against climate change, with a particular focus on Africa’s role in shaping its climate future. COP28, on the other hand, must promote practical action in mitigation and adaptation while emphasizing inclusivity and focusing on improving people’s lives and livelihoods.
The time for implementation has arrived, and the African Union, Kenya, and COP28 Presidency believe that Africa can play a fundamental role in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement across the entire climate agenda. To achieve this, climate finance must be more accessible and affordable for developing countries, including those in Africa. Developed countries must fulfill their historical commitments, including providing US$100 billion in annual climate finance, doubling adaptation finance, and adequately replenishing the Green Climate Fund.
Furthermore, the Africa Climate Summit and COP28 aim to build a new climate finance framework that encourages private sector involvement and operates at the necessary scale to support developing countries in their adaptation and mitigation efforts.
Additionally, these summits are dedicated to advancing efforts to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly on a continent where a significant portion of the population lacks access to electricity. Prioritizing clean and efficient energy can stimulate Africa’s economic growth and improve the quality of life for its people.
Both events are committed to placing the human dimension of the climate crisis at the forefront of decision-making, with a strong focus on adaptation, loss, and damage. Operationalizing the loss and damage fund and capitalizing it early, as promised at COP27 in Egypt, is a top priority. Moreover, building momentum toward a comprehensive framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation at COP28 is crucial to enhancing collective action on adaptation and effective adaptation finance.
Finally, youth engagement is integral to both agendas, with a recognition of the vital role young people play in shaping the future. The leaders invite all stakeholders to actively participate in finding and implementing solutions. Africa has the potential to lead the world in the transition to clean energy and sustainable development, with the Africa Climate Summit serving as a landmark moment in this journey.
These leaders emphasize the urgency of tackling the climate crisis and call for unity, action, and delivery in Kenya and the UAE. Every moment counts, and collective political will is essential to meet the challenges we face in combating climate change.