President William Ruto addressing the third African Parliamentarians Summit on Climate Policy and Equity in Midrand, Johannesburg South Africa. PHOTO/PCS
By DUKE TSUMA
The world needs to embrace a green industrial revolution if it expects to reverse the impacts of climate change, President William Ruto, has said.
President Ruto who was addressing the third Pan-African Parliamentarians Summit on Climate Policy and Justice in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa said climate action was the only option for lasting security, sustainable stability and shared prosperity not only in Africa but globally.
“Our continent’s abundant natural resources, immense endowment of untapped green renewable energy and youthful demographic profile are precisely the fundamental elements needed to mitigate and then reverse climate change while driving a new green industrial revolution,” he said as quoted by Nation.Africa.
He added that the only way for the world to achieve the net-zero goal by 2050 is for countries that are currently net negative, such as most in Africa, to catch up with those that are on track to miss the 2050 target.
According to him, the clearest path is for global industrial production capacity to be relocated to Africa to meet Africa’s and the world’s growing demand for goods and services in a green way that will also enable the continent to leapfrog the industrial development path of the global North.
“An African green industrial capacity will not only serve global demand, but will also decarbonise global production, thereby achieving humanity’s most ambitious climate goal,” the head of state said.
President Ruto who chairs the Committee of African Heads of State and Governments on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) received a standing ovation while delivering his speech at the Pan-African Parliament Summit.
Senator Didier Molisho Sadi, Chair of, the Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, Pan-African Parliament warned that repetitive pangs of hunger that Africa has been facing are the results of Climate change which resulted in food insecurity, Migration, and poverty.
Mr Sadi stressed that climate change impacts the availability, access, utilization, and stability of food systems, leading to hunger and malnutrition among other adverse impacts.
Leaders addressing the Pan African Parliament in Midrand, South Africa. PHOTO/PCS
He revealed plans of PAP to promote dialogue, cooperation, and action among parliamentarians, governments, civil society, and other stakeholders on climate change adaptation, and resilience-building first and foremost, as that is the sticking point in African economic orientation where sustainable agricultural development and food security is critical to reducing chronic anger fuelled by drought.
Senator Sadi said that revisiting the EU- Africa partnership in the areas of Climate Change and Food Security will harness the role of African parliaments to betterments of livelihoods of African people.
“In promoting the EU-Africa partnership, we will build on the African-European Parliamentary Action Plan on Climate Change and Food Security formulated in 2008. Am glad that in this Summit we are joined by our EU Parliament allies, and hope that part of the way forward will be to revisit this partnership and explore how to use it as our joint instrument for Climate Action collaboration”, the Senator said.
The president of the Pan African Parliament Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira, said Africa was at the crossroads of abandoning the vast fossil fuel resources underneath its soils, and the crossroads of exploiting the resources to power its people out of energy poverty and hunger.
Dr Mithika Mwenda, the Executive Director of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance did a retrospective reminder of Africa’s demands which have never been given attention by the global north.
He called on Africans and African leaders to take the lead and address the current challenges in the African context saying there is a compelling reason to adopt a much more sustainable, win-win development trajectory that balances, benefits the people, and maintains the health of the planet.
Dr Mwenda asked African leaders and their people to embrace low-carbon, climate-resilient, fair, and ecologically just development pathways that are consistent with their national priorities and circumstances.
“We need to enhance our resilience and adaptive capacity by investing in nature-based solutions, disaster risk reduction, social protection, and early warning systems,” he noted.