Your Excellency Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi,
Excellencies, distinguished speakers and guests,
Message 1: The climate crisis is one of the biggest security and development threats of our time
Conflicts around the world are becoming more and more extensive, complex and protracted. An estimated 2 billion people live in fragile and conflict-affected areas today. Most of the most fragile areas are in Africa. This number is expected to increase further.
At the same time, the increasing consequences of the climate crisis tend to exacerbate conflicts over food, water, land and resources and thus also refugee and migration movements. People in fragile and conflict areas are particularly affected.
This is one of the reasons why our government decided to make climate a central pillar of our first ever National Security Strategy. In doing so - we have embraced a broader, more integrated conception of security – one that also
focuses on the ability to ensure the well-being of our citizens, puts value on international stability and robust and diversified economic ties. And one that puts climate action as one of its three key pillars.
The past year and a half has proven this decision prescient: Russia’s war of aggression viciously highlighted the connection between fossil fuel imports, energy and climate security and peace to a German and European public.
My tenure as climate envoy has also brought me face to face with some of the climate & security challenges many face on the ground: the realities of devastated and displaced communities, and of sharpening resource conflicts. And it is a very human face – one that frequently sees communities band together to try and overcome the destabilizations they have faced. In the Sahel, I met women who were climate migrants – they had fled from Mali and went to Niger due to the extreme heat. They had started a small farm for their families but also for the families in the village, they were then living, with heat resistant crops.
The climate crisis is also challenging us to advance new approaches to peace-building and security:
This is why in 2019 we started the Berlin Climate and Security Conference as a global forum to connect governments, international organisations, experts, and practitioners working on the many aspects of the climate peace and security nexus.
At last year’s BCSC, we launched the Climate for Peace Initiative - a multilateral initiative, which promotes, coordinates and advances concrete projects on the ground to address the gap between strong political rhetoric and effective climate and security action.
So far, 25 countries have joined Climate 4 Peace, and we very much welcome the interest of other countries, including Kenya.
Kenya is a key partner on many climate and energy issues – including on climate-related security matters, which is why we are particularly happy to be jointly hosting this new format, the BCSC Nairobi with the Kenyan government.
BCSC-Nairobi aims to spotlight the wealth of knowledge and expertise on climate and security risks across Africa, convening African experts, policy makers and implementation leaders to share, reflect and learn together. ahead of the African Climate Summit and COP28.
Message 2: Standing here in Nairobi – it is clear that strong African leadership is a bright spark in this critical decade.
I have an immense respect for climate leaders – like the Kenian President Ruto, who has the confidence to chart a new development model: bypass the fossil fuel development model that we in Europe are struggling to get out of, and instead embrace climate prosperity built on abundant human and natural resources.
At this year’s Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue President Ruto was clear: Africa has the young and agile workforce, the abundance of natural, renewable resources, Africa has the “benefit of being able to leap- frog into a cost curve of technologies that didn't exist even a decade ago - one that supports green economic growth.”
We want to work with Kenya as you make this vision a reality.
This is why, as part of our bilateral climate and development partnership, we are supporting Kenia in its ambitious goal of producing 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2030. In Germany, the past 18 months have reinforced our understanding that shifting to largely-renewables based power and energy systems, is not just the right choice for the planet – but the right choice for our energy security. We no longer want to be reliant on any one fossil fuel producer. Instead, we want to work with partners to diversify renewables production and supply chains – and create a resilient and robust market.
We also see Kenia’s desire to foster a regional and Africa wide vision of a cleaner, more resilient, more prosperous and climate neutral Africa, one that can also become a green industrial hub benefiting from the global transition.
We stand ready to work with African partners on taking steps towards this future. This is also why Germany is supporting the organization of the African Climate Summit in Nairobi this September, hosted by Kenya and the African Union.
Message 3: We need to get serious about charting the path to a new development and economic growth model:
One that builds on renewables, one that creates new jobs, new trading opportunities, one that prioritises resilience and adaptation across infrastructure and governance approaches. In short – one that unlocks sustainable and resilient prosperity and stability.
We have the chance to breathe life into this new model this year - at the African Climate Summit, in the G20, and through the Global Stocktake at COP28 and beyond.
Looking to COP, we already know: we are not on track, and finance isn’t flowing in the way it needs to to make sustainable and resilient development a reality for people on the ground, particularly in Africa. So can we use COP28, the Global Stocktake response – as well as moment like the African Climate Summit and World Bank annuals to agree a step-change? A way to unlock the benefits that green and resilient development offers – to our young people, our businesses and to global peace and stability?. Can we look ahead and identify the concrete opportunities for transformation that can set us on a path to greener and more resilient energy systems, land-use, cities, and transport systems?
Are we willing to make this the COP that sends a signal for the acceleration of the just global energy transition, the shift in financing away from fossils and into resilience and renewables? This is why we are advocating for a global renewables and energy efficiency targets that improves energy access and allow for the global substitution of fossil fuels. This of course needs to come together with efforts to mobilize additional finance, create new jobs and training opportunities, expand renewables production – realise the benefits of the transition, also in African countries.
This also means forging ahead on financing – yes, make the $100BN a reality this year, and progress the doubling of adaptation finance. And shifting and aligning international financial flows with international climate action. Here we know we need to work with national and multilateral development banks to help bring down the cost of capital, and consider how to effective address debt issues limiting governments ability to invest in a more resilience and climate neutral development pathway. I appreciate that the African Climate summit will be taking a close look at exactly these issues.
We know that we also need to get better at planning for and investing in climate adaptation and resilience – both to avert the risks of sharpening resource conflicts and to keep our citizens lives and livelihoods as safe as possible, and prevent loss and damage. This year we need to decide on a framework that operationalizes the global goal on adaptation – one that is actually helpful in practises, and better informs our adaptation planning, funding and enables greater connection of national and local levels. We know adaptation needs to be locally led and owned – so how do we prioritise and channel global funding and attention better to the local level? Finally, we need to operationalize the promised suite of better funding arrangements to address loss and damage – particularly the dedicated fund, making sure that this help reaches the most vulnerable countries - and that all who are able to support the most vulnerable do so – in particular all wealthy nations.
There is clearly a lot that needs to and can be done, if we work together to achieve it.
For now, I look forward to fruitful discussions today.
I would like to again thank the Kenyan government for jointly hosting this BSCS Nairobi with us and for all the support, they have brought to make this conference possible. So it is my great pleasure and honour to invite H.E. the Prime Cabinet Secretary of Kenya, Mr. Musalia Mudavadi to the stage for his opening remarks. Thank you Excellency for your support and for opening this conference with me today.