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Day 2 at the Africa Climate Summit opened with a flurry of commitments, calls to action, and a resounding message that the time for significant climate change interventions is now. Questions remain on whether these financial commitments will have any impact or are negligible. Here’s a recap of the highlights that defined the inaugural day of the summit.

UAE Pledges $4.5 Billion for Clean Energy in Africa

The President of COP 28, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, announced a $4.5 billion investment aimed at producing 15GW of clean energy across Africa by 2030. Highlighting the urgency of the climate crisis, Dr. Al Jaber emphasized the need for international financial institutions (IFIs) and multilateral development banks (MDBs) to play a crucial role in delivering tangible results. He called on developed nations to fulfill their climate finance commitments, including doubling adaptation finance by 2025, and urged the operationalization of the loss and damage fund at COP28.

African MPs Advocate for Investment in Food Systems

In an open letter published in the Financial Times, 23 African Members of Parliament representing 18 countries called upon governments and the private sector to invest an estimated $630bn, unlocking Africa’s potential as “the world’s next food basket.” They highlighted three key priorities: investment in food systems, addressing Africa’s rising debt crisis, and urging G20 leaders to commit to supply chain cooperation. As food systems transformation took center stage at the Africa Climate Summit, these pledges will be crucial for the agricultural backbone of Africa, including smallholder farmers.

US Commits $30 Million for Adaptation and Food Security

John Kerry, the US Climate Special Envoy, announced a $30 million commitment to support agricultural businesses and technology. Stressing the critical importance of adaptation, Kerry underscored the US pledge of a $3 billion annual adaptation fund under the PREPARE initiative. He called upon COP28 to design an effective fund to assist developing nations in responding to loss and damage while emphasizing the need for an inclusive and just transition.

President Ruto Calls for a Fair Financial System

President William Ruto of Kenya highlighted the challenges African countries face due to climate impacts, including a loss of 5-15% of GDP and prohibitive capital costs. He called for a financial system that treats everyone equally, urging the expansion of concessional funding, fair distribution of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), and the introduction of a carbon tax to finance development. Ruto emphasized the critical factors of speed, scale, and affordability in climate financing.

EU Pledges Support for Africa at COP28

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed Europe’s commitment to support Africa’s priorities at COP28. She proposed a win-win partnership focused on a global green bonds initiative, carbon pricing, carbon credits, and global energy targets. Von der Leyen praised Kenya’s new climate law and highlighted the EU’s commitment of €150 billion to Africa through its Global Gateway program, with investments aimed at improving energy access in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi.

UN Secretary General Urges G20 to Assume Responsibility

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres directed a strong message to G20 countries, emphasizing their responsibility for 80% of global emissions. He stressed the importance of climate justice, including doubling adaptation financing by 2025, fulfilling the $100 billion climate finance commitment, and operationalizing the Loss and Damage fund. Guterres called for a transition away from fossil fuels and towards a just and equitable transition, highlighting the injustice at the core of the climate crisis.

African Development Bank’s Initiatives

Adesina Akiwumi, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), unveiled the bank’s ambitious $20 billion “desert-to-power” solar program, designed to serve up to 250 million people across Africa. The AfDB is also investing in climate-resilient agriculture technologies with a focus on youth engagement, including a $1 billion facility for the Youth Adapt program and support for youth entrepreneurship investment banks.

$3.5 Trillion Needed to Address Climate and Development Challenges

Addressing climate change and sustainable development requires substantial capital mobilization. A new report estimated that emerging markets and developing economies (excluding China) need to invest an incremental $1.3 trillion by 2025 and $3.5 trillion by 2030 in critical areas, including health and education, sustainable infrastructure, adaptation, and sustainable agriculture. These investments are essential to achieving sustainable development and climate goals.

Green Minerals Potential and Challenges

Dr. Marit Kit, Interim Director at the African Minerals Development Centre, encouraged African countries to utilize their green mineral resources for industrialization. However, she highlighted the challenge of offshore control in the DRC’s mineral industry, calling for responsible resource management.

Concerns About Carbon Markets in Africa

A new report by Power Shift Africa and partners raised concerns about carbon markets in Africa. It warned that these markets could perpetuate resource extraction while failing to deliver benefits to the continent. Critics argued that for wealthy polluters, carbon markets provided a convenient solution, but for Africa, they were a placebo that worsened the impacts of climate change.

Millions of dollars were pledged to Africa’s carbon markets ,at the summit yesterday.

Adaptation Finance Must Increase Tenfold

New research from the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) revealed that adaptation finance flows to Africa must increase tenfold to over $100 billion per year by 2035. This funding is essential to building resilience against climate change impacts. Without such investment, the continent could lose up to $6 trillion in economic benefits by 2035.

Top Media Stories from Day 2 of the ACS