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Africa Climate Summit Ends With Anger at Western Dominance, Near No-Show from China

Panelists lead by Kenya's President William Ruth (C) conduct a session during the Africa Climate Summit 2023 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi on September 5, 2023. Luis Tato / AFP

The African Climate Summit wrapped up on Wednesday with the adoption of the Nairobi Declaration. It calls for

  • Reforms of the international financing system to lower the cost of climate financing for poor countries via more concessional lending and targeted allocation of IMF Special Drawing Rights.
  • Taxes on international oil trade, shipping, and aviation to help fund climate mitigation and adaptation.
  • The adoption of a Global Climate Finance Charter by 2025

While the summit was historic as the first Africa-focused climate summit, it was marked by complaints that Western corporate and government actors crowded out African priorities. Activists said the emphasis on carbon trading (highly under-priced in the African market), carbon sequestration and “green growth” deflected African demands that rich nations actually cut their emissions and sidelined the urgent need for funding to help the continent deal with the accelerating climate collapse.

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