• Ruto said Africa is ready to play its part in full to steer the world firmly back onto a 1.5°C preindustrial ceiling.
• He said Kenya has mooted an ambitious plan to expand its current energy capacity of approximately 3 Gigawatts to 100 Gigawatts of entirely renewable power by 2050.
President William Ruto on Friday made a rallying call to world leaders to support initiatives aimed at turning Africa into a green powerhouse.
In his address to nearly 200 Heads of State and Government and representatives, Ruto said turning Africa into a green powerhouse is not just essential for the continent but is also vital for global industrial decarbonization.
"A tendency to ignore Africa's developmental and industrialization needs, and the failure to invest in our burgeoning younger generation, is no longer a tenable proposition," he said.
"We cannot afford to neglect the immense potential or ignore the pressing needs of a continent on the cusp of transformative growth."
The President pointed out that the latest UN data shows that the world is hurtling at a perilous speed towards a world that is warmer by 3°C unless a significant and radical shift in economic and industrial patterns is adopted.
He said the evidence is alarming.
"In just the first ten months of this year, we experienced 86 days where temperatures soared over 1.5°C above preindustrial levels," he said.
"Adding to this worrying scenario is the fact that global greenhouse gas emissions have not decreased, but rather increased, by a deeply worrying 1.2 per cent between 2021 and 2022."
Ruto said Africa is ready to play its part in full to steer the world firmly back onto a 1.5°C preindustrial ceiling.
He said Kenya has already mooted an ambitious plan to expand its current energy capacity of approximately 3 Gigawatts to 100 Gigawatts of entirely renewable power by 2050.
Ruto said as a continent, the Nairobi Declaration adopted at the inaugural Africa Climate Summit in September set the pathway towards the realisation of this ambitious goal.
"It commits us to triple renewable energy capacity, establish green manufacturing, halt and reverse deforestation, promote sustainable agriculture, promote nature-based solutions, support the global call to phase down coal plants and eliminate inefficient fossil fuel production subsidies and further amplify calls for a new global financial architecture and global carbon tax," Ruto told the summit.
The President said this level of ambition must be matched by the global commitment to achieve concrete, action-oriented outcomes.
Ruto called for a unified global effort to mobilise the necessary capital and the setting of clear, actionable roadmaps for implementation.
This, he said, demands deliberate support for Africa by eliminating investment gaps that have over the past 30 years worked against the continent.
"In the past two decades, only 2 per cent of the three trillion dollars invested globally in renewable energy has reached Africa, despite the continent's vast resource endowment and great need for investment," he said.
"We need to execute quantum leaps in terms of both our strategic actions and technological innovations."
Ruto said longstanding divisions between the global North and South has proven to be counterproductive as it has hindered the ability to unite and leverage collective strengths in the face of worsening climate change.
He pointed out that in the face of a threat that endangers the health of the entire planet and humanity, the world must find a collective action that neutralises and transcends the divisions.
"Climate change does not respect artificial distinctions, traditional boundaries and old antagonisms. Instead, it should unite us against a shared, borderless challenge," Ruto said.