The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday pledged four and a half billion dollars in investments for clean energy in Africa, during a first climate summit aimed at promoting the continent’s potential as a green power.
First “green” investments towards the African continent. The United Arab Emirates promised to invest some $4.5 billion in clean energy in Africa on Tuesday September 5 during the first climate summit in Kenya.
At the opening of the summit on Monday, Kenyan President William Ruto said that Africa had an “unparalleled opportunity” to develop while participating in the fight against global warming, if it manages to attract funding.
The United Arab Emirates, which will host COP28 in Dubai at the end of the year, announced the summit’s first financial commitment on Tuesday.
A consortium including Masdar – a renewable energy company owned by the UAE government – will help develop 15 gigawatts of clean energy by 2030, said Sultan Al Jaber, who will also chair discussions at the next COP28. The African continent’s renewable energy production capacity was 56 gigawatts in 2022, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.
Heads of state, government leaders and economic leaders from the continent and beyond are gathered in the Kenyan capital Nairobi for this historic summit.
Despite its wealth of natural resources, only 3% of energy investments in the world are made on the African continent.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called on the world to make Africa “a renewable energy superpower.” “Renewable energies could be the African miracle,” he said in a speech.
He also called on G20 leaders, who are meeting this weekend in India, to “assume (their) responsibilities” in the fight against climate change.
Reforming global finance to align with climate goals
A clean energy transition in developing countries is crucial in trying to maintain the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to “well below” 2°C since pre-industrial times, and 1. 5°C if possible.
To achieve this, the International Energy Agency says investments will need to reach $2,000 billion (€1,852 billion) per year within a decade, an eight-fold increase.
Summit speakers also called for reforming global financial structures to align with climate goals.
Sultan Al Jaber notably called for carrying out a “surgical intervention on the global financial architecture built for a different era”, urging international institutions in particular to reduce the debt burden which is paralyzing many countries.
“Africa holds the key to accelerating the decarbonization of the global economy. We are not just a resource-rich continent. We are a power with untapped potential, eager to engage and compete fairly in markets world,” William Ruto said on Monday.
Identify a common African vision on development and climate
The emphasis placed by the summit on financing issues, however, arouses opposition from certain environmental defenders. On Monday, hundreds of people demonstrated near the summit venue to denounce its “deeply corrupt agenda” focusing on the interests of rich countries.
Civil society organizations have notably asked President William Ruto not to include mechanisms such as carbon credit markets at the summit.
The Nairobi summit also aims to identify a common African vision on development and climate with a view to future climate negotiations, including a battle on the end of fossil fuels at COP28 in Dubai.
The objective of such a common position promises to be ambitious for a continent home to 1.4 billion inhabitants – among the most vulnerable to climate change – in 54 politically and economically diverse countries.
Source: France 24