President William Ruto is expected to address the third African parliamentarians Summit on Climate Policy and Equity hosted by the Pan- African Parliament in Midrand, Johannesburg South Africa, this week.
The aim of the two-day summit is to invigorate a critical mass of stakeholders to catalyse broad support of pro-poor just, equitable, locally-led and science based decisions in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) implementation and climate action.
On top of taking stock of the COP27 and overall Africa’s progress in the NDCs implementation since the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015, the Summit will also interrogate the contentious issue of just transition and come up with recommendations to guide member countries on the direction which aligns with African countries.
In April, President Ruto challenged Pan African Parliament -PAP to be the continent’s stand bearer on issues affecting Africans which include Intra-African trade, climate change, democracy and good governance.
During the meeting at State House Nairobi the President of Pan-African Parliament Chief Fortune Charumbira, the President asked the continental legislative organ to play a key role in the implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area(AfCFTA), which presents immense opportunities for exponential economic growth through trade and investment.
The implementation of the AfCFTA is in line with the African Union theme for 2023 “Year of Acceleration of the African Continental Free trade Area Implementation”.
President Ruto said it was time for Africa to end the use of fossil fuels and embrace renewable sources of energy, given that the content has the largest untapped reservoirs if clean energy.
The second ordinary session of the Sixth Pan-African Parliament which started on Monday May 15, was officially opened by President Azali Assoumani of Comoros and who is Chairperson of the African Union gave a commitment of African Heads of State and governments to fully support the continental legislative house fully function.
On his part, the President of Pan-African Parliament Chief Charumbira decried continued underfunding of the institution which he says has slowed down operations and crippled some activities.
“PAP is the only Parliament in the world where its members do not received sitting allowances, yet all other organs in AU get paid, Why? posed Charumbira. PAP's budget has been on the downward trend. Without the requisite budgetary support, the PAP remains a new vehicle, ready and raring to be driven but cripplrd by lack of fuel"
He also decried the state of political instability in various countries in the continent saying its claw back on big democratic gains that had been made.
Senate Speaker Amason Kingi who addressed the continental house said climate change, presently poses threats to humanity in dimensions and scale not contemplated before.
“For humans and wildlife across the globe, the race for survival in the face of the adverse effects of climate change has never been more intense and desperate” Mr Kingi said.
Mr Kingi is accompanied by senators Tabitha Mutinda and William Kisang.
Kenyan representatives in the continental parliament are Esther Passaris, Majimbo Kalasinga, Rahab Mukami, Senators Danson Mungatana and Prof Margaret Kamar.
African Union’s Climate Change and Resilience Strategy (2022-2023) which stands out as a guide on matters climate action and green recovery, advocates for clarifying the role of the various AU structures and agencies involved in Climate policy, and for strengthening collaboration between the African Group of Negotiators (AGN), African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) and the committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC).