Kenya’s president William Ruto has made a passionate and a strong call for global unity in combating climate change.
In his address at the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, President Ruto emphasised the need for countries to work together and approach climate action and human development in a connected and collaborative manner.
President Ruto highlighted the futility of isolated and adversarial policies in tackling climate change. He stated that global warming cannot be mitigated by simply air-conditioning small pockets of the world, and that prosperity should not be pursued in an exclusive fashion. Such approaches only lead to injustice, inequity, inequality, poverty, conflict, and activities that threaten biodiversity and encourage pollution.
The president stressed the interconnectedness of all nations and the shared responsibility to address the global climate crisis. He recognized the urgent need to reconnect with our shared humanity, adding that the current moment presents a unique opportunity for collective action.
President Ruto described the Africa Climate Summit as a precursor to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) scheduled for November 30 to December 12 in Dubai. He referred to the summit as an orientation run, designed to familiarise participants with the journey towards a future driven by African solutions, powered by Africa’s resources, and anchored on African opportunities.
Kenya, like many countries in Africa, is particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The nation has experienced rising temperatures, prolonged droughts, and unpredictable rainfall patterns in recent years, resulting in food scarcity, water shortages, and increased vulnerability to natural disasters.
By calling for global unity, President Ruto acknowledges that climate change is a global issue that requires collective efforts to address effectively. He recognizes that no country can combat climate change alone and that sustainable solutions can only be achieved through international cooperation and collaboration.
“This event serves as both Africa’s Climate Summit and a global pre-COP28 convention. It is an opportunity for Africa to lead the world towards a future full of promise, and the world is listening. The urgency of addressing climate change has been emphasised by the president, who described it as a moment of existential urgency for all humanity. African states must prioritise tackling climate change with the urgency it deserves.
“We have the permission of our ancestors to innovate and find ways to accelerate progress together, through thorough consultation, good faith engagement, effective collaboration, and inclusive action. This is an emergency that requires us to take climate action and promote green growth with a deep understanding of its importance,” Ruto stated.
The Africa Climate Summit is focused on driving green growth and finding climate finance solutions not just for Africa but for the entire world. The convention was organised by the African Union Commission in collaboration with the Kenyan government to enable African nations to develop specific plans, allocate necessary resources and investments, advocate for changes in the global financial system, exchange knowledge and viable solutions, and update Africa’s development and climate vision.
During this summit, the United Arab Emirates announced $4.5 billion in clean energy investments dedicated to Africa. The presence of heads of state, government officials, industry leaders from countries like Mozambique and Tanzania, as well as prominent figures such as United Nations head Antonio Guterres, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, and US climate envoy John Kerry further signifies the significance of this three-day event.”
President Ruto’s appeal for global unity in combating climate change comes at a crucial time when the world is grappling with the catastrophic impacts of climate change, including extreme weather events, sea-level rise, and biodiversity loss.