Nairobi The first African climate summit concluded on Wednesday with a call on world leaders to support a global tax on fossil fuels, aviation and shipping, as well as reform of the global financial system that forces African countries to pay more to borrow money.
The declaration, endorsed by heads of state or government on a continent with a population of 1.3 billion – a population that will double by 2050 – calls on the largest emitters of greenhouse gases and the richest countries to fulfill their promises. He points in particular to the unfulfilled commitment to contribute $100 billion annually to developing countries for climate finance, made 14 years ago.
“No country should choose between development aspirations and climate action,” the statement said.
The document unanimously agreed that Africa’s vast mineral wealth must be addressed on the continent, noting that “decarbonising the global economy is also an opportunity to contribute to equality and shared prosperity.”
Kenyan President William Ruto, host of the summit, said commitments worth $23 billion had been made.
The summit sought to present the African continent, which possesses huge amounts of minerals needed for clean energy and renewable energy sources, not as a victim of climate change caused by the largest economies in the world as much as a solution.
But investing in the continent in exchange for the ability to continue polluting elsewhere in the world has drawn the ire of those in Africa who want China, the United States, India, the European Union and others to work to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
A Nigerian environmental activist who participated in the summit said that these carbon markets constitute “fraudulent solutions,” reminding her that not all Africans support rich countries that use the continent’s green spaces to offset pollution at home.
“We reject forced solutions on our land,” Priscilla Achakpa, founder of the Women’s Environmental Program, told participants on the final day of the event. He urged the so-called “Global North” to “break from the perspective of the colonial past.”
The summit comes within the framework of African preparations for the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference scheduled to be held next December in Dubai.
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