African leaders rally for a global carbon tax at Nairobi Climate Summit. The call seeks more support for Africa, a continent acutely affected by climate change.
From the heart of Nairobi, African leaders have unitedly made a compelling plea: the institution of a global carbon tax. This significant proposal surfaced from the three-day Africa Climate Summit held in Kenya's capital, culminating in the much-anticipated Nairobi Declaration unveiled on Wednesday.
At the core of this declaration is an impassioned request for major global polluters to amplify their support for nations grappling with fewer resources. African state leaders are primed to utilize the Nairobi Declaration as their negotiating cornerstone at the imminent COP28 summit this November.
A prime focus at the Africa Climate Summit was the critical question of financing. Leaders delved into strategies to procure funds needed for weather adaptation, natural resource conservation, and the enhancement of renewable energy. Despite being one of the continents most susceptible to climate change repercussions, research reveals Africa attains just 12% of its annual $300bn financial requirements for effective climate change management.
The Nairobi Declaration not only calls for global carbon taxation but further emphasizes the imposition of taxes on fossil fuel trade, maritime activities, and aviation. This could be supplemented by a worldwide financial transaction tax.
Though approximately 24 countries currently have carbon taxes, as noted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the concept of a universal carbon tax system hasn't garnered substantial momentum globally. Kenya's President, William Ruto, touched upon previous European Union discussions about a financial transaction tax, a proposal that didn't secure the requisite unanimous European Council approval in 2011.
Reflecting on the global carbon tax proposal, Joab Bwire Okanda of Christian Aid remarked that tangible actions must supplant "false solutions" like carbon credits. Critics argue such credits, which enable polluters to balance emissions through green endeavors, often serve as smokescreens for sustained carbon dioxide emissions.
A notable highlight from the summit was President Ruto's revelation that international entities, including governments, development banks, private investors, and philanthropists, committed an aggregate of $23bn for environmental projects. This includes substantial funding for the pivotal carbon markets initiative. However, African leaders are candid in acknowledging that these contributions merely touch the tip of the continent's financial iceberg. They advocate for deeper systemic reforms.
While the summit illuminated several facets of the climate challenge, some experts felt the event didn't adequately address strategies to equip Africans against severe weather patterns. The summit faced external criticism too, with protestors voicing concerns about Africa's intentions to market carbon credits abroad.
Yet, the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI) has witnessed international interest, with entities like the United Arab Emirates committing to purchase credits, the latter pledging a whopping $450m.
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