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3 African countries boycott climate summit

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By Abraham Adekunle

Senior Kenyan officials revealed that Ugandan Museveni declined the invitation.

Presidents of Uganda, South Africa and Nigeria have skipped an African climate summit which was held in Kenya. As 14 African presidents appeared at the KICC in Nairobi on September 4, 2023 for the inaugural Africa Climate Summit (ACS), Presidents Yoweri Museveni, Cyril Ramaphosa and Bola Tinubu were absent. According to three senior Kenyan foreign ministry officials, Uganda’s Museveni wrote to Kenya declining his invitation. He stated categorically that he could not sit and be lectured by United States climate envoy, John Kerry, who hails from a Global North country among the world’s biggest polluters.

In the last few years, there has been an increase in the focus on global warming and the climate crisis. According to the United Nations, global warming impacts everyone’s food and water security. The global agency states that climate change is a direct cause of soil degradation, which limits the amount of carbon the earth is able to contain. As a result, some 500 million people today live in areas affected by erosion, while up to 30 percent of food is lost or wasted.

Developed nations are the most polluters in the world.

Not all countries are equally responsible for the climate crisis. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), more than 30 gigatons of CO2 are released into the Earth’s atmosphere every year. This is the main source of greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change. Most of these gasses come from the use of fossil fuels, non-renewable energy production and polluting human activities. The top ten polluters in the world have been recorded to be countries in North America, Europe and Asia.

China accounts for 10,065 billion metric tons (Mt) of CO2, the United States for 5,416 Mt, India for 2,654 Mt, Russia for 1,711 Mt, Japan for 1,162 Mt, Germany for 759 Mt, Iran for 720 Mt, South Korea for 659 Mt, Saudi Arabia for 621 Mt, and Indonesia for 615 Mt. On the other hand, the entire African continent accounts for only four percent of global carbon emissions despite being the continent suffering the most devastating effects of the climate crisis.

Museveni says being lectured by polluters very disrespectful.

According to the 1992 Rio Declaration, now known as the polluter pays principle, those who cause pollution should bear the costs of dealing with it to prevent damage to human health or the environment. The world agreed that the biggest polluters must take action to reduce their carbon emissions, but also to offset their carbon footprints by supporting environmental projects around the world. So, Museveni said that it was “very disrespectful” to sit in a room and be lectured on climate change by the very people who have plunged Africa and the global south into this devastating crisis.

Also, Ugandan president was also unwilling to engage and associate with a leader from the US, given that America protested and “punished” Uganda after he signed an anti-LGBTQ bill into law. The bill is considered the harshest in the world as it allows for the death penalty for homosexual acts. The law elicited an official statement from US President Joe Biden, who described it as a tragic violation of universal human rights – one that is unworthy of the Ugandan people, and one that jeopardizes the prospects for critical economic growth for the entire country. In his letter declining to attend the ACS, President Museveni made it clear that Africa is not a slave to anyone and reserves the right to conduct its own affairs as it sees fit.

South Africa and Nigeria also reveal reasons for pulling out of the ACS.

Meanwhile, South Africa also formally withdrew because the government is protesting against pressure from some European partners to abandon coal and opt for renewables. Yet, 80 percent of energy in South Africa comes from coal. A Kenyan official said, “They simply did not want to be lectured to and be in the same room with European partners from the West who are the world leaders in pollution but who are planning to impose levies on certain carbon-intensive imports from South Africa at a time when they are struggling with load shedding.” Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, also wrote to Kenya, saying it did not want to come to the summit and become a bystander to be lectured by the worst emitters.


Related Links

ACS23: Website    United Nations: Website


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AN-Toni
Editor
5 months ago

3 African countries boycott climate summit.Senior Kenyan officials revealed that Ugandan Museveni declined the invitation. – Express your point of view.

Last edited 5 months ago by Kenny Adetunji
SarahDiv
SarahDiv
5 months ago

This past few years, there has been an increase in the focus on global warming and the climate crisis. According to the United Nations, global warming impacts everyone’s food and water security. The global agency states that climate change is a direct cause of soil degradation, which limits the amount of carbon the earth is able to contain. As a result, some 500 million people today live in areas affected by erosion, while up to 30 percent of food is lost or wasted.Not all countries are equally responsible for the climate crisis but the people largely responsible for global warming are the developed countries that’s why most African countries are not willing to be associated with them

Adeolastan
Adeolastan
5 months ago

It’s disheartening to learn that three African countries have chosen to boycott the climate summit. The decision by Ugandan President Museveni to decline the invitation is unfortunate. Climate change is a pressing global issue that demands unified efforts and collaboration from all nations, especially those most vulnerable to its impacts, like many African countries.
Participation in climate summits provides a crucial platform for African nations to voice their concerns, share experiences, and contribute to shaping global climate policies. By boycotting the summit, these countries miss out on the opportunity to advocate for their unique challenges and priorities, as well as to influence international climate negotiations.
Climate change poses significant threats to Africa, including extreme weather events, rising temperatures, droughts, and food insecurity. It is imperative for African countries to actively engage in global climate discussions, as they bear the brunt of these impacts and require support and resources to build resilience and adapt to the changing climate.
International climate summits also offer opportunities for African nations to showcase their efforts in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to low-carbon economies. By participating, these countries can highlight their renewable energy projects, sustainable agriculture practices, and initiatives to protect and restore ecosystems. This not only helps attract international investments and partnerships but also demonstrates Africa’s commitment to sustainable development.
Boycotting the climate summit may hinder the progress of climate action in Africa. It is through active engagement, collaboration, and dialogue that we can drive meaningful change and secure the necessary support to address climate challenges effectively. It is my hope that in the future, all African countries will recognize the importance of participating in global climate summits and work together to find sustainable solutions for our continent and the world.

Kazeem1
Kazeem1
5 months ago

Three African nations have made the decision to abstain from the climate meeting.All countries must work together to address the urgent global issue of climate change, especially those that are most at risk from its effects, such as many African nations.

Taiwoo
Taiwoo
5 months ago

3 African countries boycott climate summit,African countries’ participation in climate summits gives them an essential platform to express their concerns, exchange their experiences, and help shape global climate policies. These nations lose the chance to speak for their particular issues and goals and to affect global climate negotiations by abstaining from the summit.
Threats from climate change are serious for Africa.