When it comes to the effects of climate change, “of the 20 most impacted countries in the world, 17 are in Africa,” said United States Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry. Speaking at the Africa Climate Summit 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya, he said that “This problem that we are facing is human made. It's about pollution.”
Indeed, Africa is on the forefront of the climate crisis, one that is generated by “the unabated burning of fossil fuel.” “20 countries produce 80 percent of all the emissions,” said Mr. Kerry. “It is critical for all of those 20 countries to immediately take steps to get on the path to the Paris Agreement.”
“If justice is to mean anything, it certainly has to mean that if there's going to be a transition, everybody has to be able to share in the benefits of that transition,” he said. “Right now, it is clear that you can't talk about a trust transition, about a just transition, when [for] some people there's no transition at all, or when [for] some people there is acute, unfair debt that swallows and drowns the choices that those countries have to make.”
Adaptation is key to survival. “Every 18 days, we have a 1-billion-dollar climate event somewhere on this planet. So, adaptation is critical,” said John Kerry.
“President Biden has now launched a program called Prepare, the President's Emergency Program for Adaptation, and he has committed that we are going to help at least a half a billion people in developing countries, especially in Africa, to be able to adapt to the worst impacts of this crisis.”
Mr. Kerry announced that the United States will provide an additional 20 million dollars to the African Adaptation Initiative for the Food Security Accelerator, which will invest in agricultural businesses. Another 10 million dollars will go to the Climate Resilient Adaptation, Finance and Technology Transfer Facility for scaling technologies to advance adaptation such as cold chain food storage.
“We learn that adaptation saves lives, creates jobs, and obviously it's just plain old common sense. Roads and bridges that are built today can only spur growth and curb poverty if they're still standing tomorrow,” he said.
“Africa suffers to a great degree the worst impacts of the climate crisis,” said Special Envoy Kerry. “It is essential that every country step up to help other nations, and particularly Africa at this point, in order to be able to adapt to the climate impacts.”