Stop the blame game, search for solutions to climate change: President William Ruto

– The driver of success for Africa’s green transition will be the availability of resources for investment and strengthened capacity, said President Ruto.

Staff Reporter

Nairobi, Kenya (CZ) – The African continent needs to stop the blame game and start looking for solutions to climate change, Kenya’s President William Ruto, said.

Speaking on Monday while officially opening the Africa Climate Summit in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, Ruto said this is not the time for the continent to “catalogue grievances and list problems” but rather to “scrutinise ideas, assess perspectives, and unlock solutions.”

The Africa Climate Summit, the first of its king on the continent is a three-day summit, that has brought together more than 20,000 delegates including African heads of state and government, policymakers, civil society organisations, the private sector, multilateral institutions, and youth groups.

It is co-hosted by the Republic of Kenya and the African Union Commission.

Despite the small carbon footprint from Africa, Ruto said the human toll from resulting climate change is disproportionately high requiring the urgency to address loss and damage and to configure appropriate financial mechanisms for resilience.

“We are not here just to talk about Africa or climate change in the usual way, which often accentuates our divisions—north versus south, developed versus developing, polluters versus the victims.

And even within our own governments, economic development so badly needed for us to achieve stable and dignified livelihoods is often cast as a trade off with environmental stewardship as if they are mutually exclusive,” said Ruto.

However, African countries lag behind in accessing climate finances due to the high cost of capital in Africa with private investors charging high premiums due to the perceived risks with the continent paying five times more to borrow from financial markets than advanced economies.

Josefa Sacko, the African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Development

“The fundamental driver of success for Africa’s green transition will be the availability of resources for investment. This must be accompanied by strengthening the capacity of African countries to mobilise their own resources,” said Josefa Sacko, the African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Development.

African conservation bodies say such poor financing models are informed by global economic models that have failed to quantify and cost all benefits and services offered by biodiversity.

“The increasing gaps in climate and biodiversity financing affirm Africa’s missed opportunity to drive sustainable development. Globally, the estimated gap for adaptation in developing countries is expected to rise to $340 billion a year by 2030 and up to $565 billion by 2050, while the mitigation gap is $850 billion a year by 2030,” said Kwame Kumah, senior Vice President for Global Leadership at African Wildlife Foundation.

The poor state of climate funding, avers Kumah, has led to unequal exploitation of Africa’s natural resources by the rest of the world, side lining and disenfranchising communities living within the ecosystems where such resources exist.

“While there are no comprehensive studies around the true economic value of Africa’s natural assets, in 2028, Africa’s measured natural capital was estimated to be $6.2 trillion with its mineral and fossil fuel resources respectively estimated at $290 billion and $1.05 trillion,” said Kumah.

President Ruto is expected to continue advocating for the removal of fossil fuel subsidies worldwide and the implementation of a global fossil fuel tax.

In addition, delegates will make ambitious pledges and commitments leading to a comprehensive “Pledging and Commitment Framework” to guide future actions.

Meanwhile experts say The Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP) could be Africa’s response to the impacts of the climate crisis and will feature prominently as a key outcome of the Summit.

Since 2021, the Africa-owned and Africa-led initiative has been the implementation vehicle of the vision of the Africa Adaptation Initiative with proven results to scale adaptation.

Co-designed between the African Development Bank and the Global Center on Adaptation, and endorsed by the African Union, the AAAP is mobilizing $25 billion in climate resilient investments by 2025.

In its first 24 months, the AAAP has integrated adaptation into over $5.4 billion of investments, securing resilient development objectives across 27 African countries.

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