Africa is proposing a new climate deal

The point of the Africa Climate Summit next week is to present an agreement fit for the continent that will also benefit the Global North. This turns tired narratives of the past on its head. We explain how.

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Today’s reading time: 5 mins

LOGISTICS UPDATE | Monday 28 August 

Countdown: The Africa Climate Summit starts in 7 days (Sept 4th)

Grow the crowd: Newcomers can still register for the summit

Agenda: Dozens of summit side events are listed in detail


🌳 Other event: Africa Food Systems Forum happens simultaneously

🛏️ Green accommodation: Summit bed in the wild? Get a cottage

🥗 Natural food & dining: Try out Hob House serving Lebanese food in a suburban garden

1.🚁 Heli view: From Kyoto via Paris to Nairobi

In the run-up to the Africa Climate Summit (September 4-8), insiders are negotiating the final points of what they expect to be a major new climate deal.

  • Pacifica Ogola, climate director at the Kenyan ministry of environment, said: "The expected outcome from the summit is to present the Nairobi Declaration, to be adopted by the African Union next year."

  • An internal Concept Note from the African Union (AU) lists the Nairobi Declaration as the top summit outcome.

The backdrop: If the declaration is formally adopted, which seems likely, it will place Africa's goals for climate action along previous deals that represent global turning points:

  • The Paris Agreement of 2015 is a role model

  • Building on the Kyoto Protocol from 1997

  • Which was preceded by the Montreal Protocol of 1987

Why it matters: These international agreements laid the ground for today's climate action. They created shifts in global diplomacy, though not always with full success.

  • Progress was haphazard. Many goals were low, missed or never funded.

  • Still, the agreements galvanised momentum and set new policy directions.

Africa’s ambition: The leaders at the inaugural African Climate Summit want a radical rewrite of the global climate agenda. They see Africa at its centre.

  • President William Ruto of Kenya says in a summit video: “African nations are the new torchbearers of the most impactful climate action.”

New positioning: The pitch from African leaders to the global community is simple: Africa did not cause the climate crisis but it presents the best chance of solving it:

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