African Parliamentarians Unite in Nairobi to Champion Climate Justice and Equity
In a powerful display of unity and purpose, African parliamentarians gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, for the Pan-African Parliamentary Dialogue, held in conjunction with the Africa Climate Week and the Africa Climate Summit 2023. Organized by the Pan-African Parliament and the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance, the event aimed to mobilize and align the efforts of African legislatures and parliamentarians on the critical issues of climate justice and equity. Their goal: to exert a substantial influence on the global climate agenda and secure a sustainable future not only for Africa but also for the world.*
Africa is no stranger to the ravages of climate change, and the continent has often borne the brunt of its impacts. The Pan-African Parliament sought to underscore the urgency of this global crisis during the Africa Climate Week by hosting the Pan-African Parliamentary Dialogue. This dialogue, a two-day event, coincided with the Africa Climate Summit 2023, operating under the theme “Driving Green Climate Finance Solutions for Africa and the World.”
Shared Responsibility in the Face of Climate Change
Hon. Martha Wangari, representing the Speaker of the Kenyan Parliament, Rt. Hon (Dr.) Moses Wetangula, emphasized the universal impact of climate change, stating that “Climate change does not discriminate; it affects all of us.” She further stressed the principle of equity, calling on those with greater capacity to shoulder the responsibility for the sake of those with fewer resources. Africa, despite contributing the least to global pollution, finds itself disproportionately affected by climate crises.
Senator Moses Kajwang, speaking on behalf of Hon. Senator Amason Kingi, echoed the sentiment that Africa must assume a central role in global discussions affecting its interests. He stressed the need for persistent engagement, insisting that Africa’s leadership must leverage its collective influence to advance the continent’s interests on issues such as Climate Change and climate action.
African Parliamentarians as Catalysts for Change
Senator John Bonds Bideri, Chair of the Pan-African Parliament Permanent Committee on Trade, Customs, and Immigration Matters, affirmed the event’s role in reinforcing past climate action initiatives. He expressed confidence that the dialogue would equip parliamentarians with the tools to amplify climate action efforts and strengthen the African voice on the global climate agenda.
Dr. Mithika Mwenda, Executive Director of the Pan-Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), emphasized the integration of climate policies with development priorities. He highlighted the importance of pursuing low-carbon development pathways that enhance energy, food, water, and health security while preserving natural resources and biodiversity.
A Game-Changing Model Law on Climate Change
One of the pivotal outcomes of the third Pan-African Parliamentary Summit held in May 2023 was the adoption of resolutions authorizing the Pan-African Parliament to draft a model law on climate change. This significant step is integral to strengthening the continent’s response to the climate crisis.
A United Front Supported by African Climate Justice
It is worth noting that the Pan-African Parliamentary Dialogue received support from the African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), underscoring the importance of collaborative efforts in the pursuit of climate justice and equity.
As African parliamentarians fortify their collective stance, their united efforts hold the promise of influencing global climate agendas, driving equitable action, and fostering a sustainable future for all. The Pan-African Parliamentary Dialogue in Nairobi served as a resounding testament to Africa’s commitment to addressing the climate crisis head-on and championing justice and equity in the face of adversity.