People’s Climate Summit: We Demand decolonisation of the continents economic system and repayment of climate debt

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Statement by the Africa Coal Network

The Africa Coal Network supports the demands made by the African people at the People’s Climate Summit held at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on 4 September 2023.The African people are demanding justice, decolonisation of the continents economic system and repayment of climate debt. We are also demanding an end to energy capture, a stop to fossil fuel projects and rejection of false solutions.

Our six demands include:

  1. Decolonisation of the economy and development
  2. Repayment of climate debt
  3. No false solutions
  4. Building global solidarity, peace and justice
  5. No new fossil fuels
  6. New commitments for international co-operation

Speaking on behalf of the Africa Coal Network, ACN Coordinator, Marina Agortimevor stated that, “The African people stand in unity and we reject the false notion that fossil fuels are a solution for the continent. Our communities experience the harmful health effects of fossil fuels first hand and we demand access to cleaner energy sources such as community-led socially-owned renewable energy.”

Africa Coal Network members from Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Congo, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Zimbabwe are currently in Nairobi attending the People’s Climate Summit in solidarity with the African People and support the demands the people have made. This week we joined over 500 community organisations across the region to pledge our demands.

The People’s Climate Summit is a response to the African Climate Summit (ACS2023), which is being held at Kenyatta International Convention Centre. However civil society groups felt that the ACS2023 has largely been captured by government and business interests to promote false solutions including Carbon Markets, Green Minerals and Manufacturing under the auspices of ‘Green Growth’.

The Africa Coal Network rejects the African Carbon Markets Initiative and do not believe it aligns with a Just Transition for Africans. A regenerative Just Transition is focused on Health, Renewable Energy, Zero Waste and a concerted effort to decarbonise. Carbon Markets allow for emissions, the illusion of offsets and it’s just fossil fuel companies stand to benefit from Carbon Markets.

“There are feasible alternatives to enable decarbonisation and innovative and transformative finance solutions are key to unlocking a Just Transition for Africans. By strengthening our movements, such as the Africa Coal Network and capacitating our network members across the region, we are able to focus efforts towards a true Just Transition that is based on an approach of sharing to be able to give all Africans access to energy and sustainable livelihoods,” said Marina Agortimevor.