NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - As Africa prepares for the crucial climate change conference later in the year, President Hakainde Hichilema has assured his Kenyan counterpart, who is also Coordinator of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), William Ruto, of Zambia’s unwavering support for Africa’s climate aspirations at COP28.
Speaking during a virtual CAHOSCC meeting on the Africa Climate Summit (ACS) that was co-hosted by President Ruto, in collaboration with His Excellency Mr. Mousa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), President Hichilema said, “Zambia, in its capacity as Chair of the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN), will continue to work closely with you in pursuit of Africa’s climate and development aspirations.”
The Africa Climate Summit is set to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 4th to 6th September 2023 while the 28th session of the Conference of Parties (COP28) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is scheduled for 30th November to 12th December 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Writing on his Facebook page shortly after the meeting, President Hichilema congratulated President Ruto for the idea to host the Africa Climate Summit and assured him of Zambia’s support in achieving the summit's intended objectives.
President Hichilema emphasized the importance for Africa to clearly and specifically identify areas that need resolution in order to ensure a unified approach towards making a meaningful impact on the challenges posed by climate change.
The Zambian President further encouraged unity of purpose and speaking with one voice saying, “Africa should maintain coordination, consistency and rationality throughout the climate change debate and avoid polarisation.”
Some recent report statistics on climate ambition show that Africa is already sacrificing a lot of its resources towards the fight against climate change as captured in African countries’ highly ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
This is despite the continent’s both historic and current negligible contribution to climate causing emissions.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which provides the best available science, Africa is the least contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions with less than 4% of global emissions and yet the most adversely impacted region.
Despite this well noted imbalance, statistics show that Africa is demonstrating its commitment to combating climate change, through the submission of highly ambitious NDCs and spending up to 9% of their GDPs in addressing climate change.
However, the full ambition of African countries’ NDCs cannot be realised without support from the international community, hence the call for the global north to continue taking the lead in the climate action agenda by not only cutting their emissions but also supporting developing countries with finances and other means of implementation as espoused in the Paris Agreement.
In highlighting the importance of financial support from the global north, President Hichilema also used the meeting to highlight and acknowledge the continent's strong momentum in pursuing the green investment agenda as well as noting the importance of private sector investments.
He cited Zambia’s collaboration with the Democratic Republic of Congo which have prioritised electric vehicle and batter value chain.
“As an example, Zambia is collaborating with the Democratic Republic of the Congo to prioritize the electric vehicle and battery value chain. To promote industrialization, combat high poverty levels, and achieve resilient socio-economic development, Africa must mobilize private sector investment. Private sector involvement is a critical tool for implementing the continent's transition towards a low-carbon development pathway,” said President Hichilema.