Nairobi — National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula has urged African parliamentarians to demonstrate unwavering patriotism when dealing with climate issues.
Speaking at the Africa Climate Change Parliamentary Dialogue on Wednesday, Wetangula emphasized on the need for Africa to unite in protecting the continent from the consequences of climate change and those responsible for causing it.
“I want to encourage us to strive to move ourselves from a continent of despair to a continent of hope because the future is with us. The future is right here in Africa,” Wetangula said.
He stressed that Africa should assert its authority in shaping the global climate agenda, despite being the least polluting region and often overlooked on the international stage.
Wetangula expressed regret that Africa, which bears the brunt of climate change’s effects, is frequently treated with contempt, even though it contributes the least to the problem.
“The African continent has for many years been an object of by those who put us where we are and an object of hopelessness, but nobody will spring us from that despair and hopelessness except ourselves,” he said.
Financing climate adaptation
He called for an end to the unequal treatment of Africa in climate discussions and urged African lawmakers to be innovative in safeguarding the continent’s interests regarding climate issues.
“You hold the pursue of your countries and the power of that pursue lies in Parliament,” he said.
Further, Wetangula stressed on the importance of allocating sufficient resources for climate change adaptation and mitigation programs and the passage of critical climate-related legislation in Africa.
He cited Kenya’s Climate Change (Amendment) Bill of 2023 as an example of legislation that addresses carbon markets and greenhouse gas emissions.
Kenya is hosting the inaugural Climate Summit for the continent, led by President William Ruto and attended by over ten African heads of state and delegates.
The summit focuses on tackling the growing impacts and costs associated with climate change in Africa, including evaluations, funding mechanisms, partnerships, commitments, and promises.
The Summit is expected to conclude with the reading of a Nairobi declaration, outlining the continent’s efforts to address climate-related challenges in the future.