Africa Roots for Global Carbon Taxation Regime to Combat Climate Change

Nairobi — African leaders have called on the international community to rally behind the proposal for a global carbon taxation regime aimed at addressing the escalating climate crisis.

The proposal encompasses the imposition of a carbon tax on fossil fuel trade, maritime transport and aviation.

The leaders said the proposal will be augmented by a global financial transaction tax (FTT)) to provide dedicated affordable and accessible finance for climate positive investments at scale and ringfencing of resources and decision making from geopolitical and national interests.

The proposal was framed in the ‘The African Leaders Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change and Call To Action’ adopted by African Heads of State and Government in the presence of global leaders and high-level representatives on Wednesday, September 6, at the conclusion of the African Climate Summit in Nairobi.

Commenting on Declaration, African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Moussa Faki described the summit a “success.”

“The Nairobi Declaration has been adopted unanimously and by acclamation,” Faki announced.

While thanking President William Ruto and Kenyans for hosting the summit, the AUC Chairperson challenged the member states and international partners to focus on the implementation of the declaration for the good of the continent and the world.

“To decide is good, but the implementation is better,” he emphasized.

Fostering equality

The African leaders argued that decarbonizing the global economy not only addresses the climate crisis but also presents an opportunity to foster equality and shared prosperity.

The leaders also invited Development Partners from both the global south and north to align and coordinate their technical and financial resources directed towards Africa.

The move, they argued, will promote sustainable utilization of Africa’s natural assets for the continent’s progression toward low carbon development, and contributing to global decarbonization.

The leaders also championed the acceleration of ongoing initiatives to reform the multilateral financial system and the global financial architecture.

These initiatives include the Bridgetown Initiative, the Accra-Marrakech Agenda, the UN Secretary-General’s SDG Stimulus Proposal, and the Paris Summit for a New Global Financing Pact.

Addressing debt crisis

Furthering their commitment, the leaders appealed for a comprehensive and systemic response to the emerging debt crisis, emphasizing the necessity to create fiscal space for all developing countries to

“We note that multilateral finance reform is necessary but not sufficient to provide the scale of climate financing the world needs to achieve 45 percent emission reduction required to meet the Paris 2030 agreements, without which keeping global warming to 1.5% will be in serious jeopardy,” read the declaration in part.

To cater to Africa’s unique needs, the leaders proposed the establishment of a new financing architecture, encompassing debt restructuring and relief.

This initiative also involves the development of a new Global Climate Finance Charter through UNGA and COP processes by 2025.

The leaders also agreed to establish the Africa Climate Summit as a biennial event convened by African Union and hosted by AU Member States, to set the continent’s new vision taking into consideration emerging global climate and development issues.

They further decided that the Declaration will serve as a basis for Africa’s common position in the global climate change process to COP 28 and beyond.

President Ruto, commenting on the declaration, hailed the summit as a testament to Africa’s vital role in safeguarding our planet.

“The declaration we make to the world today defines and amplifies the African position on the way forward in climate action and the fundamentals that the international community must attend to in order to ensure that humanities’ economic and ecological imperative are effectively, coherently unsustainably achieved,” Ruto said when he presided over the closure of the three-day event.

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