At the start of the first Africa climate summit, Kenya's President William Ruto described the continent as "key to accelerating the decarbonization of the global economy". The energy transition is not only necessary for climate protection, but also an opportunity to create "economic opportunities worth billions," said Ruto at the beginning of the three-day summit in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.
"Investors around the world are looking for trillions of dollars worth of green investment opportunities," Ruto said. Africa has the potential in renewable energy and natural resources to attract that money. The aim is to develop the continent into a globally relevant "green industrial location" that enables African countries to "compete fairly" in global markets.
The summit, hosted by Ruto and the African Union, will be attended by African heads of state, as well as representatives from the United Nations, governments from other regions of the world, non-governmental organizations and the private sector until Wednesday.
Climate challenge makes continent attractive
Africa's wealth of mineral resources such as copper and lithium, which are required for the energy transition, make the continent "an attractive candidate for the development of a global center for a green industrial supply chain," Ruto said. It is important that African countries not only export their raw materials, but also develop local value chains in order to maximize profits.
The greatest challenge, however, is the existing investment gap in climate protection, said Ruto. Since 2020, industrialized countries have committed to raising 100 billion US dollars annually to finance climate projects in the Global South. So far, however, this goal has not been met. Africa can no longer wait for the promised funding, but must create incentives for private investors itself, said Ruto.