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Africa unites at its inaugural climate summit, eyeing carbon credits and global investments. But as pledges roll in, can the continent shift its climate narrative?

Africa's first-ever climate summit kicked off with Kenyan President William Ruto at the helm, spotlighting a bold initiative to amplify the continent's carbon credit production by 2030. This move attracted significant financial pledges, including a standout commitment from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to purchase $450 million of carbon credits from the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI).

According to Reuters

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The ACMI, introduced at Egypt's COP27 summit last year, promotes market-based financing tools like carbon credits. These credits enable polluters to counterbalance their emissions by supporting eco-friendly activities, such as tree planting or backing renewable energy projects.

The summit, held in Nairobi, aims to rebrand Africa. Instead of being seen as a mere casualty of climate adversities like floods and famine, the continent seeks to position itself as a prime destination for climate investments.

However, the challenge remains: securing adequate funding. Reports indicate that Africa has only garnered about 12% of the funds it requires to address climate repercussions. President Ruto emphasized the need to view green growth not just as an environmental necessity but also as a lucrative economic opportunity.

Yet, not all voices at the summit echoed optimism. Bogolo Kenewendo, a UN climate advisor, expressed concerns over the slow pace of climate financing for African nations. She attributed this lag to perceptions of the continent being a high-risk investment zone.

The summit is expected to draw over 20 heads of state and government. They aim to draft a declaration that will outline Africa's stance in the upcoming U.N. climate conference and the COP28 U.N. summit in the UAE.

Noteworthy investments announced include the UAE's commitment, a $200 million investment by Climate Asset Management, and a joint $20 million investment by Rawbank and global energy trader Vitol for renewable energy projects in Congo.

However, the summit's approach has its critics. About 500 demonstrators took to the streets of Nairobi, arguing that carbon credits are merely a smokescreen allowing richer nations to continue polluting. They advocate for direct compensation and debt relief as a way to address the "climate debt."

Sultan Al Jaber, president of COP28, acknowledged the skepticism surrounding carbon markets. He emphasized the need for universally accepted standards to bolster their credibility.

Samira is an Electronics and Communications Engineer by profession, but deep inside, her heart is a nomad! She's a state champion debater, a public speaker, a scriptwriter, a theatre actress, but most importantly — A GREEN CITIZEN! She thinks of herself as a storyteller who thrives on enjoying the life at fullest and telling everyone the tales of life.

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