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The Struggle for an Environmentally Sustainable Africa

The inaugural Africa Climate Summit last month adopted ‘the Nairobi Declaration’, a document that highlighted Africa’s vulnerability to the climate crisis and called for more ambitious and progressive action from the developed world. The declaration called on the international community to assist Africa through investment in its decarbonisation agenda. In addition to the declaration, the summit secured $23bn in investment from various stakeholders. The funds will go towards “green growth, mitigation and adaptation” across Africa. The commitments included a $4.5bn initiative from the UAE’s COP28 president towards 15GW of clean energy in Africa by 2030. The declaration will form the basis of Africa’s negotiating position at November’s COP28 summit. Unanimously agreed by leaders at the 3-day summit, the declaration calls on the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases and its richest countries to keep their promises – noting in particular an unfilled pledge of $100bn in annual climate finance to developing nations, made 14 years ago – and for today’s world leaders to rally behind a global carbon tax on fossil fuels, aviation and maritime transport.

But research from the Global Centre on Adaptation shows that climate adaptation finance flows to Africa must increase up to tenfold to over $100bn per year by 2035 to build resilience against the growing impacts of climate change. Without such investment, it is estimated that the continent could lose out on as much as $6tn of economic benefits by 2035 as every $1 invested in adaptation has been shown to generate a return between $2 and $10.

Meanwhile, we have already reported on Spiro, a startup looking to eliminate fuel-guzzling motorbikes and scooters from the roads by trading them in for electric two-wheelers, is expanding to Kenya. This marks a major milestone for the company founded in Benin last year. At present it has a fleet of 10,000 bikes currently in operation across Benin, Togo and Rwanda. This autumn, the company will also begin its 5-year rollout of 140,000 bikes in Uganda.  Once an old bike has been traded in, the parts are recycled and repurposed.

Alastair Tempest

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