COP 28: Ruto Asks World Leaders to Step up Contributions Towards Climate Action


President William Ruto and his Tanzanian counterpart Samia Suluhu on Friday criticised world leaders for not fulfilling the promises they had pledged to help Africa mitigate the effects of Climate Change. 

Speaking at the opening plenary of COP 28 at the United Arab Emirates (UAE), President Ruto highlighted that only Ksh9 trillion had been invested in Africa for renewable energy, out of the Ksh459 trillion invested globally.

Ruto explained that the World leaders could no longer ignore Africa’s potential, stating that the continent is on the cusp of transformative growth.

“More than 600 million Africans are deprived of basic energy services, which are fundamental to dignified living and access to essential services such as healthcare and education. The challenge is compounded by the fact that nearly 1 billion people in Africa do not have access to clean cooking amenities,” he remarked.

President William Ruto (right) addresses the roundtable summit at COP 28 in Dubai on December 1, 2023.

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“A tendency to ignore Africa’s developmental and industrialisation needs, and the failure to invest in our burgeoning younger generation, is no longer a tenable proposition. Turning Africa into a green powerhouse is not just essential for the continent, it is also vital for global industrial decarbonization.”

On the other hand, Suluhu called for the promises made in past COP events to be fulfilled. 

She highlighted the pledge made by the global leaders in Copenhagen in 2009 at COP 15 to mobilize Ksh15 trillion per year for developing countries.

“In Copenhagen, we committed USD 100 billion (Ksh15 trillion) annually for climate action. It is still not forthcoming,” she entailed.

“In Paris, we resort to keep warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. However, the current rate of warming is alarming.

“It must be said that unfulfilled commitment erodes solidarity in trust and has detrimental and severe consequences for developing countries.

Suluhu explained the worrying statistics from Tanzania, noting that the country is losing two to three per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) due to climate change. In a clarion call, Suluhu called for world leaders to step up their efforts in the global fight against climate change.

COP 28, is an annual event organised by the United Nations to convene world leaders to discuss ways of mitigating the adverse effects of climate. 

This year’s event focuses on fast-tracking the move to green energy transition before 2030. 

President William Ruto (centre) is joined by other global leaders during the roundtable discussions at COP 28 in Dubai on December 1, 2023.

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