Africa specifies its climate requirements
Financing renewable energy, reforming the international financial system and carbon taxes are among the most important requirements of the continent to be able to decrease the impact of climate change.
In the Declaration
of Nairobi, this continent, which accounts for only 2-3% of the global
emissions of greenhouse gases, tried to find a common position in the process
of global climate change, culminating in the Climate Conference of the UN
(COP28) in Dubai at the end of November.
Here are the main points:
to the natural ability to directly produce clean energy (solar, wind,
geothermal, etc.), Africa has 40 percent of the world's reserves of cobalt,
manganese and platinum, essential for batteries and hydrogen fuel cells.
Paradoxically, this continent has attracted almost 2 percent of global energy
transition investment over the past decade.
The Nairobi summit called for $600 billion in investment to increase
Africa's renewable energy production capacity from 56 gigawatts in 2022 to at
least 300 gigawatts by 2030. This is necessary for a continent of 1.4 billion
people, of which 600 million do not have electricity.
To raise the
necessary funds for these investments, the Nairobi Declaration calls on world
leaders to produce a proposal for a carbon tax system that includes a tax on
fossil fuel trading and a tax on shipping and aviation. According to the
statement, these funding sources could be supplemented by a global financial
transaction tax. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke in favor of a maritime
trade tax at a summit in Paris in June, while emphasizing the necessary
membership of China, the United States and other European countries to make it
a reality. American climate envoy John
Kerry limited himself to explaining in Nairobi that these various proposals are
being studied in Washington.
of the Nairobi summit added their voices to the call to review the architecture
of the international financial system, which UN Secretary-General Antonio
Guterres described as outdated, unfair and dysfunctional. The leaders also demanded restructuring of
their countries and debt. According to the United Nations Economic Commission
for Africa, the region's debt burden has risen due to the Covid-19 pandemic,
Russia-Ukraine war and climate impacts. However, it is difficult for developing
countries to receive financing from the IMF and the World Bank because of their
challenge to lift a large part of the population out of poverty and off fossil
fuels. Reform of both institutions is expected to be the focus of their annual
meeting in Morocco in October.
countries demanded that economic growth be less dependent on fossil fuels in
addition to the traditional model of industrial development. At the core of the strategy: ensuring that
the continent's rich raw materials, including minerals used for green
technology, are processed locally, not just exported. Another option would be to better monetize
the continent's vast carbon sequestering ecosystems—forests, mangroves,
wetlands—in the carbon offset market.
But these poorly regulated markets are criticized because some projects
- especially forestry - have little impact on environmental conservation or
protection of local communities, according to their critics. Carbon credits are
really a license to pollute, says Mohamed Adow, director of the Power Shift
Africa think tank.
nations have reminded rich polluting nations to meet their 2009 commitment to
provide $100 billion a year in climate change finance by 2020. In addition to
helping the most vulnerable countries deal with the immediate effects of
climate change through a fund approved by Egypt at COP27 to compensate rich
countries for damages and losses in the South.
The heads of state of Nigeria and South Africa, two of the continent's heavyweights whose economies depend on fossil fuels, were conspicuously absent from the summit. However, the African Union confirmed that the Nairobi Declaration was unanimously adopted. Laurence Tubiana, president of the European Climate Fund, said the Nairobi summit sends a strong message to the international community.