The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has pledged $4.5 billion in clean energy investments in Africa at the landmark Africa Climate Summit in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.
Sultan Al Jaber added that a consortium, including Masdar, would help develop 15 gigawatts of clean power by 2030. He called for a “surgical intervention of the global financial architecture that was built for a different era”, urging institutions to lower the debt burden on some countries.
Protesters gather to demand action on climate change in downtown Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday 4 Sept. 2023 as the Africa Climate Summit begins. @AP/Brian Inganga
The three-day Nairobi summit has gathered heads of state, government and industry, including leaders from Mozambique and Tanzania, as well as United Nations head Antonio Guterres, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen and US climate envoy John Kerry.
The UN Secretary-General also urged the international community to help make Africa “a renewable energy superpower,” adding that “…renewable energy could be the African miracle.
He called on leaders of the Group of 20 major economies in particular, who will meet in India at the weekend, to “assume [their] responsibilities” in the fight against climate change.
Before the summit opened, Crisis Group senior analyst on climate, environment and conflict, Nazanine Moshiri, told RFI English that experts also hoped that the disasters linked to climate crisis wouldn’t be forgotten, especially the need for conflict resolution in regions like the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, both profoundly impacted by climate change.
A coalition of civil society groups has been urging Kenya’s President William Ruto to steer global climate priorities away from what they perceive as a Western-led agenda that champions carbon markets and other financial tools to redress the climate crisis.
Green investments and shift in perception
The summit aims to showcase the continent’s potential as a green powerhouse and focused on drawing investment to projects to fight global warming. Ruto has sought to use this Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi to shift the narrative on the region, and to present clean energy transition as a unique opportunity for Africa.
He believes it can attract the financing to realise its potential. Ruto said trillions of dollars in “green investment opportunities” would be needed as the climate crisis accelerates. His goal is also to bring together African leaders to define a shared vision for green development on the diverse continent of 1.4 billion.