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Africa Climate Summit: Demand for Accountability and Financial Support Amid Climate Change

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

Top African rulers, high-ranking government officials, civil society frontrunners, and global creditors congregate in Nairobi, Kenya, for the precedent Africa Climate Summit (ACS) scheduled for Monday. The gathering is an opportunity to carve a strategic pathway ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as Conference of the Parties (COP28), happening on December 12, this year.

The theme for the week-long discussion in Nairobi is "Driving Green Growth and Climate Finance Solutions for Africa and the World". The African Union (AU) attests that the summit is a crucial platform to explore the nexus of climate change, Africa's developmental agenda, and the call for escalated global commitment towards climate action.

Open Society Foundations' Division Director for Climate Change, Gwemende Titus, shared insights with News24, underscoring the criticality of the summit and the valued contribution of various stakeholders towards climate change interventions across Africa. Gwemende also proposed possible situations and course of actions for African leaders presenting their case at the impending COP28 event at Expo City, Dubai.

Despite contributing minimally to global greenhouse gas emissions - only between 3.4% and 3.9% within the last twenty years according to the World Bank - Africa pays a stiffer penalty through the devastating effects of climate change. As Gwemende highlighted, the continent bears the brunt of global climate change while receiving only 3% of the global climate change finance.

The situation underscores the pressing need for accountability on climate promises and a substantial surge in climate change finances. Gwemende envisages the summit as a momentous opportunity for Africa to strategize on resource mobilization, appropriate regulatory frameworks, and cultivating requisite partnerships and innovative strategies.

Persistent climate change could depreciate Africa's GDP growth rate by an alarming 64% by century end. Aggravated by escalating climate-related migrations and bulging debts, accessing requisite funds from the capital markets is increasingly challenging for African nations. This worrying scenario amplifies the urgent call for expediting liquidity on the continent to cushion against climate change-induced economic desolation.

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