The inaugural Africa Climate Summit (ACS) themed “Driving Green Growth and Climate Finance Solutions for Africa and the World” kicked off in Nairobi, Kenya.
The 3-day summit, which is scheduled to take place from September 4, 2023, to September 6, 2023, aims to address the increasing exposure to climate change and its associated costs, both globally and particularly in Africa.
While officially opening the summit, Kenya’s president William Ruto stated that unlike other summits, ACS is one that seeks to imagine, design and then build a future of prosperity for Africa and the world.
“You have not just stepped into a conference hall; you have entered the future, a future ripe with potential, driven by global partnerships, committed to African prosperity, inclusive growth, and a liveable planet for all,” Ruto said.
Championing Green Growth and Global Unity
President Ruto emphasised that Africa is “the key” in expediting the global economy’s decarbonization efforts, and called on everyone to take action for the benefit of future generations and to accelerate climate action.
“Africa possesses all the necessary conditions to realise this future. Our foremost asset is our young and growing workforce, educated, skilled and motivated to pursue industry, innovation, and enterprise.
“We have ample renewable energy potential, and the natural assets and resources to green our own consumption, and meaningfully contribute to decarbonization of the global economy.
“We must see in green growth not just a climate imperative, but also a fountain of multi-billion-dollar economic opportunities that Africa and the World is primed to capitalise on,” he stated.
Ruto also insisted on the need for climate stakeholders to shift away from the North vs. South discourse, urging them to unite in addressing the climate emergency.
Furthermore, he issued a challenge to governments to tap into renewable resources across different regions of the continent.
He also emphasised the importance of commitment when investing in climate-resilient agriculture and the preservation of nature.
“Over 640 million Africans have no access to energy, corresponding to an electricity access rate for African countries at just over 40 percent, the lowest in the world. Kenya is on course towards achieving its 100 percent clean energy goal by 2030.” The president said.
As per Ruto’s statement, the summit is expected to introduce the Nairobi Declaration, a document with the capacity to guide Africa toward a transformative course of affirmative action in tackling the urgent challenge of climate change.