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African leaders call for debt relief to help tackle climate crisis

African leaders have called for debt relief across the continent to allow countries to get on with responding to the climate crisis, as they publish the Nairobi Declaration at the end of the first African climate summit.

The declaration, which had a heavy focus on climate finance, also included a call for global carbon taxes, and for increased representation of African and other countries in the governance of multilateral banks.

But delegates and campaign groups were critical of the spotlighting of climate finance across the event which, they said, came at the expense of issues such as adaptation and climate insecurity, at a time when extreme weather events across the continent have disrupted livelihoods, prompted displacement and worsened food insecurity.

“Many communities bearing the brunt of increasing floods and droughts, while also at risk of conflict, are disappointed there wasn’t more emphasis on ensuring that green investments trickle down to them,” said Nazanine Moshiri, a climate, environment and conflict analyst for Africa at the International Crisis Group.


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