Pan African climate summit adopts resolutions to drive green agenda

Saturday, 2018-10-13 11:47:08
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The seventh climate change and development in Africa conference (CCDA-V11) wrapped up in Nairobi on October 12 with participants endorsing sweeping recommendations to hasten green and inclusive growth in the continent.

Mohamed Elmi, chief administrative secretary in Kenya's Ministry of Environment and Natural resources, said the three-day summit injected vitality into efforts to find home grown solution to Africa's climate change crisis.

"After three days of fruitful deliberations, everyone agreed that African-led initiatives to tackle negative impacts of climate change have the potential to deliver results in the long-term," said Elmi.

More than 700 delegates who included policymakers, representatives of regional blocs, researchers and grassroots campaigners attended the pan African climate forum in Nairobi to explore innovative ways to reactivate the continent's green agenda.

Elmi said that resolutions adopted at the forum will be presented at the forthcoming global climate summit to be held in Poland from Dec. 2-14.

"We have resolved to speak as a united bloc to ensure our voice is heard at the 24th session of conference of parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that will take place in Poland coming December," said Elmi.

"A united Africa should push for developed countries to honor their commitment in emissions reduction and green finance," he added.

Among the resolutions adopted at the Nairobi pan African climate forum included domestic resources mobilization, robust grassroots education and harmonization of policies to hasten low carbon development.

Olushola Olayide, a senior policy advisor at the African Union Commission, said that a retooling of climate change mitigation and adaptation in Africa is required to realize a green growth that benefits everyone.

"A paradigm shift must inform our next stage of climate change response as we learn from past successes and failures," said Olayide.

"It cannot be business as usual as our continent continues to suffer from a chain of environmental disasters that can be tamed if we invest in clean energy,"Olayide added.

John Bideri, chair of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, Rwanda chapter, said that a continental dialogue should be reactivated to hasten the momentum towards achieving zero carbon emissions development.

"We have a chance to move forward the climate agenda by involving all stakeholders. The next phase of dialogue should focus on how the continent can tap into its innovations, abundant natural resources and skilled workforce to enhance its climate resilience," said Bideri.

He added that low carbon emissions growth is an imperative as African countries grapple with rapid urbanization and pressure on natural resources.