Climate change poses significant risks to the global community, with physical effects causing substantial economic losses. Over the past decade, storms, wildfires, and floods have resulted in substantial GDP losses. Africa, in particular, faces severe climate-related challenges, including drought, desertification, and increasing cyclones, leading to displacement, migration, and food crises. The continent is also disproportionately affected by the global temperature rise and is projected to experience escalating physical climate risks. Additionally, African governments' limited ability to respond to the climate crisis due to debt-distress and economic shocks necessitates urgent action to provide debt relief and increased liquidity.
It is crucial to shift the narrative away from a division between the Global North and the Global South in addressing the climate crisis. Collaboration and collective action are vital for all nations to combat climate change effectively. Africa is ready to contribute to global decarbonization efforts by leveraging its abundant resources, including renewable energy, critical minerals, agricultural potential, and natural capital. By harnessing these assets, Africa can drive its own green growth and support global renewable energy needs. The continent also offers a range of investment opportunities for global capital to promote decarbonization and local economic development.
To achieve the necessary emissions reduction targets and ensure adequate funding for climate action, a comprehensive global funding mechanism is required. HE President Ruto advocates for targeted taxes on sectors like aviation and maritime, the removal of fossil fuel subsidies worldwide, and the implementation of a global fossil fuel tax. Additionally, the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms (CBAM) can be deployed as a tax for targeted mitigation and adaptation efforts. Exploring a Financial Transactions Tax on a global scale is another potential avenue for generating significant revenue. These global taxes should be collected and pooled in a single global fund, with allocation based on achieving the highest climate impact and supporting technological innovation. Furthermore, a global governance body, independent of national interests, should oversee the fair distribution of funds.
Delivering on climate action requires the active involvement of various stakeholders. While governments and multilateral institutions play a central role, the private sector, civil society, philanthropic institutions, and local communities all have vital contributions to make. The private sector's investment is crucial in mobilizing the necessary capital, while philanthropies can de-risk projects and drive innovation. Civil society, especially women and youth, ensures accountability, efficiency, and a science-based focus in climate action. Local and indigenous communities provide invaluable perspectives, ensuring sustainable and just development pathways align with their needs.
At the Africa Climate Summit, leaders will be called upon to make ambitious pledges and commitments. A comprehensive "Pledging and Commitment Framework" will be developed to guide these actions. By embracing ambitious ideas and making bold commitments, we have the opportunity to turn the tide on climate change, not only in Africa but also globally.