Kenya to play up climate change and development link at summit

Soipan Tuya

Environment, Climate Change and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya addresses participants during the launch of the ministry’s five-year strategic plan in Nairobi on July 27.

Photo credit: Bonface Bogita | Nation Media Group

The link between development and climate change will be a key agenda for the Africa Climate Summit 2023, which will be hosted in Kenya next month.

In a media briefing yesterday, Environment, Climate Change and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya said that the focus of the summit will be on coming up with a pathway for green growth.

“We will be setting the stage for Africa to lead the globe towards a more ecologically responsible global industrialisation, catalysed by financing that is accessible, adequate and affordable,” said the CS.

“The summit is fashioned more as a trade and development summit, with Africa’s resources and opportunities at the fore, with Africa being the global solution provider on climate change because of its vast resources. The summit is a deviation from your typical African victim status of begging bowls, poverty, penury and malaise. It is about Africa, the continent of the future,” she added.

The ministry announced that the African leaders attending the summit will use the opportunity to come up with a common stand for the continent ahead of the United Nations General Assembly and 28th Conference of Parties (COP28). The CS said this will be the African Leaders Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change.

“Africa will be proposing a new global climate finance architecture that will be timely, responsive and at scale in helping conduct global climate change interventions,” Ms Tuya said.

“We will, at the Summit, show the linkage between Africa’s debt distress and its inability to have sufficient capital wiggle room to conduct adaptation and mitigation interventions,” she added.

Ms Tuya subtly endorsed President William Ruto’s remarks in June that COP28 should be the last, saying that the climate meetings have not borne any tangible fruits for the people affected by climate change.

“Everywhere in Africa, women, children, youth and communities are continually calling on their leaders to take progressive action on climate change so as to alleviate the pain visited on them by a crisis with which they have very little to do,” she said.

She asked global leaders to focus on pain points regarding climate change.

Climate Change Director Pacifica Ogola announced that the summit, which will take place alongside the Africa Climate Week, and has so far attracted about 9,500 delegates.