Three Key Takeaways From The Africa Climate Summit 2023

  • Blog
  • Net Zero & Climate Risk

Three Key Takeaways From The Africa Climate Summit 2023

The inaugural Africa Climate Summit drew to a close on September 6th after three days of negotiations and speeches at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. Tens of thousands of delegates from around the world, including some heads of states, came together to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the green transition in Africa, as well as to find sound financial solutions.

Some of the most important outcomes of the summit:

  • A $23 billion commitment to green projects. According to the IEA, Africa has the world’s greatest solar energy potential, but only 1% of installed solar capacity – significant funding is essential to unlock this potential. During the conference, governments, banks and private investors committed a total of $23 billion to finance projects to support natural resources conservation and the development of renewable energy infrastructure across Africa. $4.5 billion alone was pledged by the UAE, where COP28 will be hosted in November 2023.

  • Petitioning COP28 for a global carbon tax. African societies feel that a fundamental climate unfairness needs to be addressed. The continent is the most affected by the devastating effects of the climate crisis, while African countries have the lowest emission per capita of any other region. Despite commitments to mobilize funding for climate action in developing countries made back in 2009, during the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, the funds haven’t materialized. Therefore, delegates at the summit developed the Nairobi Declaration, which includes a call for global carbon taxes to ensure adequate financing of green investments. The declaration will serve as a unified basis for Africa’s negotiating position at COP28.

  • A renewed pledge to boost carbon offsets. The African Carbon Market initiative was launched at COP27 to expand carbon credits production in Africa, host of the world’s second-largest rainforest. The pledge includes producing 300 million carbon credits annually by 2030, unlocking $6 billion in revenue and supporting 30 million jobs. Hundreds of millions of dollars were pledged during the Africa Climate Summit, with UAE investors leading investments. This sparked climate activists’ concern around the integrity of the carbon credits, which are cheaper in African nations than in many other countries, and the overall efficacy of the voluntary carbon market to reduce global emissions.


The African Climate Summit marked a significant milestone in addressing environmental challenges on the continent. With a substantial commitment of $23 billion for green projects and the introduction of the Nairobi Declaration, Africa has the potential to become a “renewable energy superpower”, as noted by the UN Secretary-General Antonion Guterres, and a significant player in the battle against climate change. The challenge in the next months will be to translate formal commitments into tangible results, while all eyes are already on the next global event: COP28 in Dubai.

Industry Analyst

Alessandra Leggieri is an Industry Analyst in the Verdantix Net Zero & Climate Risk practice. Her current research agenda focuses on solutions for GHG emissions and net zero management, covering technologies and services. Prior to joining Verdantix, Alessandra completed an MSc in Environmental Technology at Imperial College London.