Kerry, who addressed the 18th session of African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) held on Sept.13-16 in Dakar, Senegal, appeared indifferent to the plight of vulnerable population in the continent bearing the brunt of climate crisis, said the campaigners.
Mithika Mwenda, the director of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), regretted that Kerry's address felt short of acknowledging the U.S. and West's lip service to the continent's green aspirations. According to Mwenda, the major Western powers are yet to deliver on their pledges to help Africa deal with the escalating climate crisis that has worsened poverty, inequality, conflicts and disease outbreaks.
Mwenda said that Washington is yet to demonstrate commitment to support communities in the climate hotspots of the Sahel and Horn of African region to cope with the phenomenon.
Climate change has emerged as the biggest health threat to humanity characterised by food shortages, droughts, heat waves and flooding. How can we build climate resilience in Africa?
During the just concluded Africa's environment ministers summit, Kerry said that the West bore no responsibility to the ravages of climate change in Africa and the global south by extension. Kerry insisted that each country should bear the burden of climate emergencies, adding that Africa should prioritize mitigation as opposed to adaptation measures.
Augustine Njamnshi, the chair of the PACJA Technical and Political Committee, said that failure by the United States to honor its financial pledges to support Africa's climate response had taken a toll on livelihoods.
"We thus call on the U.S. to stop dilly dallying and avail to African people its fair share of climate finance to build their resilience," Njamnshi said, adding that Washington bear historical responsibility for run-away greenhouse gas emissions that had worsened climatic shocks like droughts, cyclones and floods in Africa.