Africa Climate Week begins in Nairobi on Monday, with leaders from across the continent arriving in Kenya to discuss ways to meet climate targets while expanding access to energy and ensuring that economic development remains sustainable.
“It comes as temperatures in Africa are rising faster than many other parts of the world, causing more frequent extreme weather events and prolonged droughts, leading to food shortages and loss of lives,” said the United Nations Environment Program.
The talks also come ahead of COP28, to be held in December in the United Arab Emirates.
The emphasis on Africa’s limited historic role in generating greenhouse gases, along with the calls for climate justice through loss and damage funding, is balanced with the consensus among leaders that Africa also offers the world climate solutions.
A session on Thursday focuses on the global demand for copper, lithium, and cobalt to achieve the transition away from fossil fuels. The minerals market could surpass $400 billion by 2050, according to Dr. Richard Munang, a UNEP associate who will moderate the discussion on Africa’s mineral resources.
It will highlight “how we can strategically place ourselves in green tech value chains and foster sustainable development,” Munang said.
The Africa Youth Climate Assembly, with its own focus on “African-Led Solutions to Global Challenges,” was held ahead of the main event and wrapped up on Sunday. Speaking to the group, Kenyan President William Ruto urged African youth to press for climate action.