- Africa has a very rich green Africa and is ready to contribute to global decarbonisation efforts by leveraging its abundant resources.
- By harnessing these assets, Africa can drive its own green growth and support global renewable energy needs.
Nairobi will be hosting the 2023 Africa climate week, in a few weeks’ time addressing the climate change crisis facing the world, with a big role helping in crafting an African position on mitigation and adaptation suggested solutions ahead of COP28 in Doha.
The Nairobi meeting is happening in the context of radical suggestions on the global approaches to dealing with the climate change crisis by President William Ruto on decarbonisation and the need for funding approaches to the global interventions on the same.
Kenya has called for shifting the global debate and framing the climate change crisis away from a division between the Global North and the Global South, and adopting a more collaborative and collective action that allows each country and region to contribute what it has and not necessarily by looking at financial contribution.
This disfavours Africa in the global arena in the climate change discourse and interventions yet, the continent has vast green resources that could be very useful in the global strategies to combat the adverse effects of climate change.
Africa has a very rich green Africa and is ready to contribute to global decarbonisation efforts by leveraging its abundant resources, including renewable energy, critical minerals, agricultural potential, and natural capital.
By harnessing these assets, Africa can drive its own green growth and support global renewable energy needs.
The continent also offers a range of investment opportunities for global capital to promote decarbonisation and local economic development.
The worrying state of the climate in Kenya like in the rest of the continent paints a very gloomy picture for Africa; continued warming temperatures, accelerating sea-level rise, extreme weather, and climate events, such as floods and droughts, and associated devastating impacts.
That’s why an African-led position and solution-based approach as pushed the Kenyan President is very welcome and hopefully, it will be finalised and put on the table- and get the political will from the rest of the world.
Unless it’s a business that benefits only a few people, why would the rest of the world, and more so, those that pollute the air more through industries, the aviation and maritime sectors resist workable solutions from Africa.
President Ruto advocates for targeted taxes on sectors like aviation and maritime, the removal of fossil fuel subsidies worldwide, and the implementation of a global fossil fuel tax.
In addition, the new thinking places serious focus on the role of the private sector in support climate change adaptation interventions through for example supporting Governments to implement the green and blue economies to escalate the achievement of sustainable development as required under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The private sector can marshal resources to support greening and decarbonisation interventions, but it has been noted that despite making huge profits and being the engine of development, the private sector has been non-committal on developing products that support the growth of the green economy.
Banks should be responsive to funding and supporting innovative ideas that will help countries on the continent to realise their ambitions of pursuing an economic growth and development model that ensures that natural assets are exploited while at the same time continuing to provide the resources and environmental services on which her Kenyans’ well-being depends on.
Remember, the privates sector provides the bulk of the resources that are going into the construction of mega infrastructural projects- buildings, railways, roads, and dams in our countries, yet they rarely care to ask the impact of the huge projects on the protection and conservation of the environment.
Both Kenya’s Green Growth Economy Strategy and the recent Blue Economy Strategy paper are part of the country’s effort to actualise the larger circular economy principle which is part of SDG 12 to which Kenya a signatory thus has a responsibility to promote proper natural resource utilization.
The country’s Green Growth Strategy recognizes investing in the following building blocks can increase profits for producers, save money for consumers, and improve the environment: economic efficiency, low carbon development, investing in natural capital and ecosystem services and efficient markets that internalise all social and environmental costs.
Other building blocks that are equally important include and are part of the strategy are, transport, and water infrastructure systems; affordable and environmentally friendly housing; equitable access and governance of natural resources; environmentally aware citizens and green consumers; and new measurements of well-being and sustainable economic welfare that are publicly available.
The media is an important channel for information that can empower people to effect positive social change.
It informs vulnerable communities of the impacts of climate change and how they can adapt to them and can promote mitigation activities that limit the amount of warming the Earth experiences.
Most local communities in Kenya exist predominantly in the climate frontline, waging in a daily struggle to adapt to the changing climate.
Yet most of these communities, if not all, lack the requisite information and skills needed to understand the entire consortium of weather, climate change, mitigation, and adaptation issues.