Russia-Africa Summit: AU to combat climate change effects

AFRICAN Heads of State, representatives of the African Union (AU) and Africa’s leading integration organizations attending the second Russia–Africa Summit in Saint Petersburg have committed to step up efforts to combat the effects of climate change in Africa, as one of the region’s most vulnerable to climate change.

In a declaration issued at the summit, the African leaders committed to transfer relevant low-emission technologies, build the capacity of African States and enhance their ability to improve resilience and adapt to climate change, bearing in mind that “financing climate action should not increase the debt of African States or jeopardize their sovereignty.”

The representatives of African States agreed at the summit to welcome the outcomes of the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in November 2022 and step up international efforts to fully implement, on the basis of best available science and Common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR&RC), the provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) of 9 May 1992 and its Paris Agreement of 12 December 2015, including ensuring the adaptation and greater resilience of States to the negative effects of climate change, as well as responding to loss and damage.

On the looming energy transition, African governments agreed to work on just energy transition pathways, and in line with efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in accordance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“We acknowledge the efforts of African States in this field within the framework of the African Union’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want,” they noted.

Reaffirming the principles and objectives enshrined in the Declaration of the First Russia–Africa Summit (Sochi, 24 October 2019), which laid the strategic foundation for Russia- Africa relations in the 21st century, the African leaders committed to develop cooperation in joint projects on environmental protection and sustainable development, including on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the development of low-emission energy and support for the development of a circular economy.

“We recognize the right of each State to choose its own best mechanisms and means for protecting and managing the environment, adapting to climate change and ensuring a just energy transition in line with national circumstances and capacities,” they committed.

Increase cooperation to prevent the politicization of international environmental and climate action, its use to gain unfair competitive advantage, interfere in internal affairs of States and restrict the sovereignty of States over their natural resources with due regard to their obligations under international law.

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