Participants at the ongoing Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya. PHOTO/PRESIDENCY
By ABDULHAKIM SHERMAN
President William Ruto has urged African governments to increase their investments in green opportunities to unlock the continent’s potential.
The President called for investment in renewable energy, green industrialization, climate-smart agriculture, and nature conservation.
He said this would accelerate global decarbonization, fuel sustainable development, drive economic growth and create millions of jobs.
“We must see in green growth not just a climate imperative, but also a fountain of multi-billion-dollar economic opportunities that Africa and the World is primed to capitalise on,” President Ruto said.
He made the remarks during the ministerial conference at the Africa Climate Summit, at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), Nairobi.
Present were the African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Environment, Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance Executive Director, Dr. Mithika Mwenda and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell.
Others were Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Cabinet Secretaries led by Soipan Tuya (Environment) and governors led by the Council of Governors chair Ann Waiguru among others.
President Ruto said Africa must prepare to become a global hub in the green industrial supply chain.
“The continent has enough potential to be entirely self-sufficient with the mix of wind, solar, geothermal, sustainable biomass and hydropower,” he added.
Kenya, he observed, is leading the way in the adoption of renewable energy, which accounts for 92% of its power.
“Our ambition is audacious yet achievable: 100% renewable by 2030 and a 100 Giga Watt grid, entirely renewable, by 2040,” he said.
The President challenged African states to invest in value addition of raw materials and abandon the minimalist, short-term, raw-material-based approach.
“The time has come for us to break out of the shackles of low ambition. We must now begin to aim higher and strive for more, and better outcomes,” he said.
President Ruto further said that Africa should leverage its agricultural land assets to enhance the continent’s food security and monetize agricultural systems.
Ms Sacko said Africa is committed to addressing the climate change challenge by implementing sustainable solutions.
“Our solution for African climate change is rooted in large-scale investment in climate resilience centred on energy assets to drive sustainable industrialization,” she said.
Ms. Soipan said Africa is spearheading ecologically responsible global industrialization to address the climate change crisis.
She said the summit is keen on changing the perception of the place of Africa in climate change action.
Later, President Ruto handed over KSh 7.2 billion to counties under the Financing Locally-LED Climate Action (FLLoCA) programme in the form of county climate change investment grants.
The FLLoCA programme seeks to enhance Kenya’s climate adoption through financing, technology and capacity building.
“The grants, together with KSh 3 billion of county own-resource allocations, will finance local climate action priorities in agriculture, water and natural resources management in every county,” President Ruto said.
He also presided over the launch of Long-Term Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Development Strategies (LT-LEDS) 2022-2050, the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) 2023-2027 and the Climate Change (Amendment) Act 2023.