Kenya and Africa, will for the first time, host the third One Planet Summit on March 14 in Nairobi, making history while also making a crucial point about climate change.
The One Planet Summit, launched by French president Emmanuel Macron in December 2017, will be held in Africa for the first time, underlining planetary correlation in a way previous summits – held in Paris and New York – arguably could not.
Africa is responsible for only four per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but 65 per cent of its population is thought to be directly affected by climate change. The One Planet Summit will illustrate the core truth at the heart of the climate change debate: global warming has an impact on everyone on the planet, whether or not they contribute substantially to it.
The OPS Nairobi Summit will showcase Africa’s strengths as a vibrant place for climate innovation and investments with advances in sustainable business models, climate smart agriculture, green bonds, and renewable energy.
“We have all the means to act to fight against climate change. But one country or one business alone can’t save everyone. That’s why we need the international meetings and coalitions to coordinate our efforts and strike hard. We need to act now to achieve our main goal: reduce our production of carbon which destabilizes the climate balance and causes impacts on our security and health. The next months will be full of opportunities to strengthen our joint effort and to create new partnerships”, said President Macron.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta will launch a call to action at the Summit “to prevent, halt and reverse the loss of Africa’s forests.
This is the context within which Kenya’s decision to co-host the One Planet Summit and actively fight climate change becomes significant.
In the run-up to the Summit, Monica Juma, cabinet secretary in Kenya’s ministry of foreign affairs, said, “We’ve begun to frame Nairobi as the world global environmental capital.” She indicated that Kenya was determined to upscale discussions on the sustainable use of natural resources in line with United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
The One Planet Summit is built for innovation. It was born on a whim and a prayer in December 2017, when Macron hosted more than 50 world leaders in Paris to celebrate the anniversary of the UN climate compact in the French capital in 2015.