ACW23: Africa Climate Week 2023 Now Underway in Nairobi, Kenya

The ACW23 is showcasing feasible African solutions to climate change

The Africa Climate Week 2023 (ACW23) is currently underway. The event which is taking place concurrently with the ACS23 at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, Kenya is scheduled for 4 to 8 September 2023. Thousands of policy makers, practitioners, business and civil society representatives are in Nairobi to deliberate about Africa’s progress and ideal future in matters climate action.

“As the world grapples with the urgent challenges posed by climate change, ACW will address this pressing crisis through cooperation and forward-thinking initiatives to drive transformative change.” United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said in a press release, “ACW will also build momentum towards positive and impactful outcomes at the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).”

The 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP 28) will take place from November 30 this year. The conference presents an opportunity for the world to assess its milestones in dealing with climate change, keeping in mind the ambitious targets agreed upon in the Paris Agreement whose main goal is to guide the world towards achieving global temperature of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with hopes of lowering temperatures further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The government of Kenya is hosting the ACW23 in partnership with African Union (AU), Africa Development Bank (AfDB), and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) which puts the ACW23 in a better position to advocate for African solutions and ensure climate challenges experienced in Africa are fairly articulated. Organisers of the event include United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) alongside United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Word Bank Group, providing global input and organisational standards.

Courtesy: ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (the world’s leading network of local and regional governments committed to sustainable development)

Africa is on the receiving end of climate change challenges. In addition to the billions of dollars Africa loses every year due to climate change, a recent study by “Science Direct” showed that at least 4000 people have died, and about 19 million people have been adversely affected by extreme weather conditions in Africa since 2022, a direct well-known effect of negative climate change. This is all despite the fact that Africa accounts for only about 2% to 4%of global carbon emissions.

The situation keeps worsening with every with every kiloton (kt) of carbon dioxide emitted through burning of fossil fuels and cement manufacture, with wealthy nations being the main culprits of fuelling climate change. This is why, according to various government and civil society leaders, the rich nations should be held accountable and compelled to play a direct role in helping Africa cope with and rise above the adverse effects of Climate change.

“We need to make those who have brought us here to the climate crisis that we are experiencing, the emitters, be held accountable and a system that works for everybody,” said President William Ruto in an interview by Al Jazeera in February 2023.

During the ACW23, various players in the fight against adverse climate change including some of the world’s fiercest climate action campaigners will present solutions to the existential threat of climate change and propose ways to implement feasible strategies to alleviate the suffering experienced not just in Africa, but also globally as a result of effects of climate change such as global warming, and also secure a future free of said effects for earth’s posterity.

“Africa’s abundance of wind and solar energy can power our development, creating jobs, protecting local economies, and accelerating the sustainable industrialisation of the continent. But for us to lead the way toward a sustainable and prosperous future for our continent and the world, finance and technology must be provided to our developing countries. As we come together at the Africa Climate Summit and the Africa Climate Week, we aim to weave a single, resounding African voice that will carry the outcomes of these crucial events to COP28 and beyond.” said H.E President of Kenya Dr. William Samoei Ruto, who is also the champion of ACS23

Courtesy: Nature Finance

This viewpoint is the uniting factor that has brought together regional and global leaders.

“The people of Africa — and people everywhere — need action to respond to deadly climate extremes. I’m convinced that Africa can be at the heart of a renewable future. Now is the time for all countries to stand as one in defence of our only home,” said António Guterres the current UN Secretary-General.

As we build up towards the conclusion of ACS23 tomorrow which is the main stage for deliberations between heads of African states, the ACW23 continues to showcase tested and proven African solutions to climate change as is expected.

“Africa Climate Week must be the place where we accelerate climate action across the African continent and finance a just transition to a climate-resilient future – a transition that empowers Africa to take control of its own destiny and become a green leader and economic powerhouse,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme.

Delayed finance for climate action has taken centre stage at the summit with stakeholders decrying the reluctance by wealthy countries to provide the agreed upon $100million dollars to fund Africa to mitigate and avoid further adverse regional effects of climate change.


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