African campaigners call for climate justice to hasten green recovery

climate change
Climate change

Delivering climate justice to African countries is crucial to accelerate the continent’s green recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic’s social and economic aftershocks, campaigners said on Monday.

The green campaigners stressed that promoting a climate-resilient future for Africa was paramount in order to safeguard the livelihoods of communities.

Keriako Tabiko, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for Environment and Forestry in his opening remarks at the Nairobi Summer School on Climate Justice said that Africa deserved a fair allocation of resources, technologies and innovations to help communities cope with extreme weather events.

“Every climate action that will be undertaken in Africa going forward should have justice, equity and human rights as key components. We must entrench climate justice in legislation and policies,” Tobiko said at a forum in Nairobi.

More than 500 participants including senior policymakers, researchers, innovators, donors and campaigners will participate in the inaugural Summer School on Climate Justice slated from August 30 to September 12.

Convened by the Nairobi-based Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and partners, the two-week summit will provide a platform for sharing knowledge, best practices and experiences that can entrench climate justice in the continent’s post-pandemic future.

Mithika Mwenda, executive director of PACJA noted that there is a growing consensus on the need to promote justice, equity and inclusivity in Africa’s quest for carbon neutrality.

“Climate justice is no longer an abstract concept. It is key to raising the voices of local communities in Africa and the global south who have suffered heavily from failed crops, droughts, floods and disease outbreaks linked to rising temperatures,” said Mwenda.

He said the Nairobi Summer School on Climate Justice aims to reignite conversation on effective strategies to cushion African smallholder farmers, pastoralists and fishermen from negative impacts of climate change.

Jean-Paul Adam, a climate change expert at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) said the continent deserved robust investments in inappropriate technologies and innovations to promote low carbon development. Investing in climate-smart agriculture and renewable energy will not only deliver climate justice to African communities but also foster inclusivity and green growth.

Fredrick Ouma, a member of African Group of Negotiators from Kenya said that Africa’s climate justice will be realized once grassroots communities are involved in global processes aimed at reducing carbon emissions. Enditem

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