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Africa Climate Summit 2023: Milestone or Mirage?

CRISIS - Viability of Life on Earth by Mitota P. Omolere Africa Sep 26th 20236 mins
Africa Climate Summit 2023: Milestone or Mirage?

The historic first Africa Climate Summit held in Nairobi was hailed as a milestone for showcasing the continent’s climate leadership and potential. However, critics argue it fell short in eliciting concrete commitments and unified action needed to translate ambitions into real progress.

The first Africa Climate Summit (ACS), held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 4 to 6 September 2023, was a historic event that brought together African leaders, investors, experts, and civil society to discuss and showcase the continent’s climate action and solutions. The summit aimed to address the challenges and opportunities of green growth and climate finance for Africa and the world and strengthen the continent’s voice and position in the upcoming global climate negotiations. But was the summit a success or a failure? Did it meet its promises and expectations or fall short of its potential? And what does it mean for the future of climate action in Africa?

Achievements of the Summit

The summit had several notable achievements, demonstrating Africa’s readiness and willingness to lead in tackling the climate crisis. Some of these achievements include:

Shortcomings of the Summit

Despite these achievements, the summit faced several criticisms and challenges that may have undermined its effectiveness and impact. Some of these shortcomings include:

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The Outlook for Climate Action in Africa

The summit concluded with optimism and hope for the future of climate action in Africa and a call for action and solidarity among African countries and their partners. The summit declared that it would become a regular event held every two years to review progress, exchange perspectives, and converge on shared priorities for global discussions. The summit also urged African countries to implement the Nairobi Declaration and the initiatives launched at the summit and to enhance their ambition and cooperation in advancing their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.

However, the summit also acknowledged that there are still many challenges and uncertainties ahead that require sustained efforts and support from all stakeholders. The summit recognised that the success of climate action in Africa depends mainly on the outcome of the upcoming global climate negotiations, especially COP28, where Africa expects to see a fair, ambitious, and binding agreement that reflects its needs and aspirations. The summit also emphasised that implementing climate action in Africa requires adequate financing and effective governance, capacity building, technology transfer, innovation, and stakeholder engagement.

Therefore, the summit can be seen as a milestone or a mirage depending on how its outcomes and implications are followed up and translated into concrete actions and results. It has undoubtedly raised awareness and interest in Africa’s climate agenda and potential, but it has also exposed some gaps and weaknesses that need to be addressed and overcome. The summit has set high expectations and standards for Africa’s climate leadership and partnership, but it has also posted significant risks and responsibilities that must be managed and fulfilled. It has opened new opportunities and avenues for climate action and investment in Africa. Still, it has also created new challenges and demands that must be met and satisfied.

In conclusion, the Africa Climate Summit 2023 was a landmark event that marked a turning point for Africa’s role and position in the global climate arena. It showcased Africa’s achievements and innovations in climate action and solutions, as well as its challenges and opportunities for green growth and climate finance. It also presented Africa’s vision, priorities, and demands for climate action and finance and its commitments and initiatives to accelerate and scale up climate action and investment. However, the summit also faced several criticisms and challenges that may have affected its overall effectiveness and impact. Therefore, the summit’s success or failure will depend on how its outcomes are followed up and implemented in the future. One thing is sure: it has set the stage for Africa’s climate action, but it is up to Africa and its partners to make it happen.

Featured image: Paul Kagame/Flickr

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Tagged: climate finance

About the Author

Mitota P. Omolere

Mitota is an Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) Specialist passionate about sustainability. With a first degree in Industrial Safety and Environmental Technology, he has over 4 years of experience implementing EHS and quality management systems across industries. He Loves to volunteer for youth-led sustainability initiatives. With interests in Environmental sustainability, climate change, Energy, health, and safety, he actively writes on these topics to share insights.

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