African campaigners say climate-proofing cities key to hastening green growth

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Nairobi, May 17 (IANS) Limiting carbon emission in the rapidly growing African cities will be key to averting climate emergencies like floods besides hastening the realisation of a just, green and inclusive future for the continent, campaigners said ahead of the 9th Africities summit slated for May 17 to 21 in the western Kenyan city of Kisumu.

Charles Mwangi, the Acting Director of Nairobi-based Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, on Monday stressed that as the continent urbanises at a faster pace, there was an urgency to climate-proof its infrastructure and crucial amenities in order to safeguard the health and prosperity of its inhabitants.

“Our cities need to promote sound waste management, adopt non-motorised transport and design climate change adaptation plans in order to promote resilience,” Mwangi said in a statement issued from Kisumu.

He added that the five-day Africities summit presents an opportunity for the continent to explore innovations that could green urban settlements as a means to attain the UN 2030 goals, Xinhua news agency reported.

More than 10,000 participants, including former Heads of state and government, city Mayors, policymakers, scholars and campaigners are expected to attend the ninth edition of the Africities summit.

Under the theme of “The role of intermediary cities of Africa in the implementation of Agenda 2030 of the United Nations and the African Union Agenda 2063”, the summit will discuss new strategies to promote urban renewal in the continent.

Mwangi said a new roadmap for attaining carbon neutrality in African cities was a prerequisite in order to make them livable, and convert them into havens of green innovation and enterprise.

Mohamed Nbou, the Director of Climate Change Department of United Cities and Local Governments Authority, Africa, stressed that greening the continents’ metropolises was key to eradicating poverty, disease and marginalisation.

Nbou acknowledged that climate change could worsen resource scarcity, air pollution and violent storms in African cities, hence the need for municipal authorities to invest in solid mitigation and adaptation measures.

–IANS
int/khz/

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