The African People’s Climate and Development Declaration 2023

Fossil Fuels Fail Africa
Fossil Fuels Fail Africa

World leaders gathered in Nairobi, Kenya from September 4 to 8 for the Africa Climate Summit to discuss regional interests ahead of COP28.  

 Civil society raised concerns that Western and corporate interests hijacked the Summit in their push for false climate solutions like carbon markets, and in weakening language on renewables.  

More than 500 African organizations sent a letter to the Kenyan President ahead of the Climate Summit to ensure that this space was reserved for African interests. In the end, leaders released the Nairobi Declaration, which only called for a phase-out of coal and made no mention of oil or gas.  

In response, civil society and grassroots voices (including social movements, trade unions, women, Indigenous peoples, young people, people living with disabilities, faith-based groups and more) from across the continent gathered concurrently for the People’s Assembly and released the African People’s Climate and Development Declaration 2023. The Declaration outlines what the African people strive for concerning their continent and what they demand their government to do at the COP28 decision-making tables and beyond.  

“We recognise that if Africa doesn’t have a plan for our own destiny and future, we will continue be the subject of others’ plans, with continued exploitation, extraction and colonisation.” 

African People’s Climate and Development Declaration 2023 

The Declaration includes powerful demands that call for a redefinition of development from a concept of perpetual growth to genuine development, advancing self-reliance, ensuring the provision of basic needs for everyone, energy democracy, food sovereignty and more. Read the People’s Declaration to learn more. 

While the Nairobi [Leaders’] Declaration has been deemed weak and inadequate, it did call for debt relief to allow for African nations to focus on the pressing need of addressing the climate crisis.  

The climate crisis is fueling the accumulation of debt in countries in the Global South. Countries that have done little to cause the climate crisis are disproportionately affected by climate impacts. They are having to borrow more deeply to pay for mitigation and adaptation interventions further indebting their economies. Learn more about debt cancellation for climate justice from the Global Action for Justice and Debt Cancellation. 

Fossil Fuels Fail Africa
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In reaction to the Africa Climate Summit, Oil Change International released an infographic/comic titled “Fossil Fuels Fail Africa.” The infographic tells the story of why Africa – the continent facing the worst of the climate crisis despite having the highest renewable energy potential – is ready for a just transition instead of new fossil fuels. The infographic was designed by South African illustrators ToonZA, with data from Oil Change International’s Sky’s Limit Africa report. 

Our second Climate Action Week of 2023 wraps up this weekend. ICYMI, recordings from the Climate Action Dialogue: Building Momentum for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty on September 12 and the Leadership Seminar on September 14 are now available. 

Head over to the KAIROS blog for any content you might have missed from earlier this week.  

Stay tuned for developments for the next KAIROS Climate Action Week from November 13-19.  Before then, here are a few more ways to stay connected to the work climate justice and reconciliation:  

  1. March For The Land: Walk with Land Alliance  

On September 27th, 12 p.m., five First Nations from Northern Ontario will travel to Toronto to lead a march calling on Premier Ford to end unwanted mining activity on their Territories. Join the March For The Land: Walk with Land Alliance, to stand with the five First Nations of the historic Land Alliance as they defend their Territories.  

  1. Climate, Conflict, Gender: KAIROS Canada’s Women of Courage Visit 2023 

Partners of the KAIROS Women of Courage: Women, Peace and Security Program are coming to Canada from September 25 to October 6 for Climate, Conflict, Gender: KAIROS Canada’s Women of Courage Visit 2023. Join KAIROS and local groups when we host them. 

The partners’ first stop is Toronto where they will gather to exchange experiences, strategies and outcomes and to participate in an evening celebration. Partners will then divide into smaller groups to visit Kelowna, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and Sydney to exchange experiences and insights with Canadians and Canadian parliamentarians. Visit the website for more information about their visit and details on events

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