Nairobi Declaration a far cry from a Just energy Transition to People Led 100% Renewables

Nairobi Declaration a far cry from a Just energy Transition to People Led 100% Renewables

NAIROBI, September 6, 2023  Friends of the Earth Africa joined leaders and comrades from across the African region and the world for the inaugural Africa Climate Summit (ACS) in Nairobi, Kenya, which was held from 4th to 6th September 2023 to discuss Climate change, climate finance, and Africa’s energy future. The three-day summit, whose agenda was drafted by profit-driven organizations from the global North and laden with Carbon Markets ideas, ended with the African Leaders’ Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change and Call to Action adopted by African Heads of State and Government in the presence of global leaders and high-level representatives on the closing day.

Yegeshni Moodley, Climate and Energy Justice campaign lead at Friends of the Earth South Africa observed that “the climate week was missing the local voices that are most impacted by climate change. Their stories of hope, perseverance, suffering, and disaster were glaringly absent, hidden away behind security barriers and military armament. The use of top-down, technocratic false solutions negates the value of local knowledge and traditional practices that have sustained generations on their land. We must decry and lament the situation Africa has been placed into, where her lands and riches are once again being sold away to the distress and poverty of her people.”

The declaration, which falls short of the expectations of the people and civil society organisations, is not a surprise, as the various dangerous clauses embedded in the document have revealed the truth about these concerns. The summit sessions hammered out the multiple ways to institutionalize carbon markets on the continent. This is a dangerous distraction from the much-needed rapid and just transition away from fossil fuels if we stay below 1.5 degrees.

 “We were already worried going into the Africa Climate Summit, that the agenda of the Summit had been influenced heavily by McKinsey and US corporate interests. Africa is highly vulnerable to the ravages of the climate crisis, but it seems the voices of Africans are being ignored. Instead of a people-based renewable energy system and strengthening peoples’ rights, we are seeing more fossil fuels and carbon markets, and we denounce these moves.” said Anabela Lemos, Director, Justiça Ambiental, Mozambique.

In a further reaction, Maimoni Mariere Ubrei-Joe, Coordinator of the Climate Justice, and Energy Program, Friends of the Earth Africa said: “Existing policies in Africa can be effective if they are backed by concrete actions. We cannot keep using the same old extractivist model and expect a different result. What should be Africa’s focus now is to stop the contributors to climate change at source and not look for shortcuts to keep extracting using the smokescreen of the carbon market, geoengineering, and other false solutions.

Africa must champion a people-led and centered Just energy transition to 100% renewable energy with utmost care for the environment. African energy systems should be developed to meet the needs of the continent rather than thinking only of energy for export.  Our energy sovereignty is paramount if we are to grow and move forward. This Nairobi declaration is short of these ideas and could be another beautiful document heading for the shelves.

“Africa urgently needs scaled-up real climate finance solutions to enact a fair and just transition away from fossil fuels towards sustainable renewable energy. At the forefront of Africa’s just transition must be the need to increase energy access and sufficiency across the continent. The dash for Africa’s transition minerals cannot replicate the extractivist dirty energy model that puts profits over the people and planet. Nor can this extraction be led by neocolonial pursuits by the Global North. Any exploitation of Africa’s critical mineral resources needs to recognize the rights of Africa’s indigenous people and local communities and ensure that their energy access needs are a priority in the transition” said Tyler Booth, CJE International Programme Coordinator, FoEI

Africa’s natural habitats and ecosystem must not be commodified and reduced to their role as carbon sinks, but recognized for the intrinsic value they have to ecosystems and the people who rely on these ecosystems functioning. Africa does not need carbon markets; it needs real climate finance”, Tyler added.

The dash for Africa’s transition minerals cannot replicate the extractivist dirty energy model that puts profits over the people and planet. Nor can this extraction be led by neocolonial pursuits by the Global North. Any exploitation of Africa’s critical mineral resources needs to recognize the rights of Africa’s indigenous people and local communities and ensure that their energy access needs are a priority in the transition. The adoption of the language “phase down of coal” and no mention of the phase-out of fossil fuels by declaration is a pointer to the value it places on the people of Africa who bear the brunt of the climate crisis.

The conference included further discussions around the blue economy, agriculture, and nature and biodiversity.

Mariann Bassey Oruwvuje, FoE Africa, Food Sovereignty coordinator said:

“We call on our African leaders to meet their human rights obligations and to listen to the requests of the affected communities and people!  Governments and intergovernmental organisations must immediately stop any policies, which lead to violations of the human right to food. We demand public policies in favour of farmers’ seed systems. The Nairobi Declaration must prohibit monopolies, and favour instead agroecology, access to land, and good care of the soil. Farmers themselves are agricultural experts and they must be in the driver’s seat of agricultural development at all times! We must prioritize people over profits, and continue to promote and defend agroecology and farmers’ seeds, which represent the hope and future of humanity.

 Rita Iyke Uwaka, Forest and Biodiversity coordinator, FoE Africa, said:

Africa should double its agricultural production and productivity with a focus on community-based and smallholder farmers’ agroecological systems while supporting intra-African agricultural business between the people and the smallholder and community farmers, and creating spaces for knowledge sharing. We must stop the harmful expansion of monoculture plantation systems and related deforestation, watershed, and soil degradation. Ensure that at least 30% of African land and at least 30% of the African ocean and seas are conserved or protected by 2030; with a rights-based approach.

She further added that we must support African leaders to stop any harmful carbon market laws that will violate the people’s rights, and aid livelihood losses and ecosystem destruction.

For more information or clarification, you can reach:

Babawale Obayanju, Communications Coordinator, Friends of The Earth Africa +2348072051368

Or Maimoni Mariere Ubrei-Joe, Climate Justice and Energy  Coordinator, Friends of the Earth Africa

The Urgent and Vital Need for a Just Energy Transition in Africa

The Urgent and Vital Need for a Just Energy Transition in Africa


by Babawale Obayanju and Ubrei – Joe Maimoni Mariere

Africa, home to one-fifth of the global population, has contributed about 3% of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, representing the lowest emissions per capita[1] among regions. Yet, the continent faces the most devastating consequences of climate change, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical conflicts. This opinion piece delves into the crucial intersection of the climate crisis, energy systems, and the imperative for a just feminist transition in Africa, urging African leaders and global stakeholders to embrace an equitable approach to safeguard the environment and uplift communities.

Africa’s Climate Plight: A Call to Action

While Africa’s carbon contribution is comparatively minor, its vulnerability to climate impacts is immense. Recent events, such as the 2022 Nigerian floods and Cyclone Idai’s devastation in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, underline the urgent need for comprehensive climate policies. These incidents, disproportionately affecting marginalized communities, emphasize the necessity for immediate and ambitious climate mitigation strategies.

Energy Predicament: Balancing Need and Sustainability

Amid the climate crisis, Africa’s energy landscape presents a formidable challenge. Millions on the continent lack access to reliable electricity and clean cooking facilities, thus contributing to energy poverty. The Russia-Ukraine conflict, however, threatens to undermine progress, with both Northern and African governments seeking to expand their search for oil and gas on the African continent. The African Union’s stance on incorporating fossil fuels in energy access raises concern, as it contradicts the global push to drastically reduce the global average temperatures below 1.5oC while moving towards clean renewables. Europe’s wavering commitment to gas in its own energy mix while bolstering fossil fuel investments in Africa risks exacerbating environmental degradation, and climate injustice, and furthering the patterns of neocolonialist extractivism on the continent.

The Just Transition, False Solutions, and Sustainable Progress

Friends of the Earth Africa believes that Africa holds unparalleled potential for harnessing renewable energy sources, including solar and wind, which could transform its energy landscape. However, the challenge lies not only in adopting clean energy but also ensuring an equitable transition process. The transition must prioritize protecting ecosystems, local livelihoods, and communities while providing universal access to energy. Grassroots resistance in South Africa and Mozambique against harmful energy projects exemplifies the imperative for environmentally conscious development.

Amid the race to combat climate change, Friends of the Earth Africa says caution must be exercised against embracing false solutions – in the form of carbon markets, offsets, and removals – as is shown on the agenda of the upcoming Africa Climate Summit where it is planned to operationalize the carbon market initiative, proposed by McKinsey and company an American consulting company in collaboration with Sustainable Energy for All, the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet and the Rockefeller Foundation.

This will compromise the environment and vulnerable communities. Geoengineering initiatives like solar radiation, sky whitening, ocean fertilization, and ill-conceived ‘nature-based solutions’ risk masking the deep-rooted changes necessary for meaningful emissions reduction. Instead of relying on carbon markets and offsets, a people-led energy revolution grounded in clean renewable, democratic, and locally informed solutions is imperative.

Financing the Just Transition Agenda for Africa’s Energy

The forthcoming Africa Climate Summit (ACS) holds immense potential to redefine Africa’s energy future. Friends of the Earth Africa urges the all participating government and leaders to prioritize a just transition to renewable energy, advocating for a complete phase-out of fossil fuels and halting new dirty energy projects. The focus should be on clean, safe energy sources, respect for indigenous and community rights, safeguarding biodiversity, and minimizing environmental harm. ACS must reject all false narratives that support gas as a transition fuel and any form of false solutions – carbon markets, offsets, and removals in Africa. This approach will decentralize energy access, bridging the gap between rural and urban areas.

Addressing the historical climate debt owed to Africa is essential for equitable progress. Funds should flow into the Loss and Damage finance mechanisms established at COP27, free from loans or insurance that could exacerbate economic imbalances. Utilizing existing funds, including those hidden in tax havens, could fuel Africa’s renewable energy revolution. A successful transition hinges on simultaneously addressing climate debt and inequality, buttressed by favorable political and economic conditions.

As Africa seeks a renewable future, responsible mineral extraction is vital. Safeguarding communities, livelihoods, and environments from further harm demands cleaner and safer extraction methods. Balancing resource demand with environmental stewardship will require strong labor rights, collective organizing, and worker retraining, ensuring that progress benefits all.


The Africa Climate Summit has the potential to redefine Africa’s trajectory in confronting the climate crisis. By centering on a just energy transition, the summit can foster equitable development, clean energy access, and environmental stewardship. As Friends of the Earth Africa, we believe urgency is undeniable: Africa’s challenges are global, and the continent’s success in navigating the energy crisis can serve as a blueprint for a sustainable future worldwide. In the end, the pursuit of a just transition is not only Africa’s responsibility but a collective endeavor for a more resilient and harmonious planet.


Photo Credit : Sharon Pittaway on

Maputo Declaration on Rivers and Dams

Maputo Declaration on Rivers and Dams

We, the social movements, civil society organisations, grassroots communities, lawyers, academics, experts and others, from several provinces of Mozambique and also from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Brazil, Cuba, France, Ireland, Switzerland and Bosnia-Herzegovina, have met at our 4th International Conference on Rivers and Dams in Maputo, Mozambique, on 6th July 2023.

We denounce the human rights violations of dam-affected communities across the world, including past injustices which have still not been redressed. We reiterate that any struggle in defence of territories and human rights is legitimate, fair and necessary. Specifically, we denounce the intimidation and persecution of local communities by the Mphanda Nkuwa dam project proponents in Mozambique for speaking up and resisting against this project and we reaffirm our solidarity with all affected peoples.

We strongly call upon the governments, corporations, financiers and United Nations bodies to stop the construction of all dam projects on our rivers until the guidelines of the World Commission of Dams (WCD) are fully followed, and decommission all old and inefficient dams while redressing past injustices caused by these dams.

Rivers for life, not for death!

Read the full declaration in the document here

Release of the report “Assessment of TotalEnergies’ Mozambique LNG Project Human Rights due iligence”, by Uprights

Release of the report “Assessment of TotalEnergies’ Mozambique LNG Project Human Rights due iligence”, by Uprights

© Aurore Vegas, FoE Europe

This week, a report by the lawyers at Uprights was released, which does an analysis of TotalEnergies’ Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) of the Mozambique LNG Project in Cabo Delgado. The HRDD, done by LKL Consulting in 2020, warned TotalEnergies that the violent conflict would continue, and that they were responsible for the safety of impacted communities in the area. TotalEnergies knew, but did nothing, and when the violent attack on Palma village took place in March 2021, which caused the company to announce a force majeure, it provided no security for the people it has impacted.

The HRDD also shows there is a major difference between what TotalEnergies’ commitments are to upholding human rights and what it actually does in reality, such as not paying adequate compensation.

But the Uprights report explains how the HRDD itself has many problems:
“It is incomplete and flawed in many ways. Even the consultants say that the way they gathered information was ‘insufficient’. It does not prioritise the armed conflict which is unacceptable when the project has been operating in a war since 2017, and does not show clearly the human rights impact of the project on the safety of communities in the conflict, and the impact on women. Civil society and communities waiting to be resettled were not consulted.”

Financiers cannot rely on due diligence reports written by consultants who are paid by the companies. If this project restarts, it will be a disaster for communities, the planet, the climate and the Mozambican economy, and keep fueling the war that has displaced 1 million people and left thousands dead. Banks and governments have the power to stop Mozambique LNG, and they must use it!

You can read the full report here:

Mozambique Holdings Employee Attacks Peasant Women In Namadoe Community, Lugela District

Mozambique Holdings Employee Attacks Peasant Women In Namadoe Community, Lugela District


Conflicts between members of the communities affected by the Mozambique Holdings company’s plantations and its managers and employees in the Lugela district have been ongoing since the company begun its activities in the area. Until today, there is no information on how the land use title was transferred from Madal to Mozambique Holdings Lda, despite the numerous requests for information submitted to Government.

The affected communities claim that there was no community consultation process for the transfer of the land use title, and that they were allowed by Madal to use several areas under Madal’s title for food production. Since Mozambique Holdings Lda started operating, several community members lost their production areas without any compensation, as some of these areas were under Madal’s land title but always used by the communities.

JA! and the community associations have already denounced several situations of intimidation, threats, insults and even aggression against community members and the destruction of fields and stored foods. These situations were publicly denounced, and formal complaints were submitted to the relevant authorities, including the Police. The perpetrators of these acts are well known by all, they are and have been denounced and nothing has happened. Due to the increase and aggravation of conflict situations and the dissatisfaction of these communities, the District Administration intervened with the company in order to convince the company to allow the ommunities to use part of the lowlands for rice production and for the last two years this has been the case.

However, last Sunday, the 14th of May, two peasant women from the Namadoe community were in one of these low-lying areas planting cabbage when Mr. Binua, from Mozambique Holdings, who was driving by saw them there, he stopped his motorcycle and ran towards them. As they say, the two peasant sisters, as soon as Mr. Binua reached one of the peasant women, without saying a single word, he began to violently attack her. The sister ran away, but quickly realized that her sister was still being beaten and returned to defend her. The fear was quickly forgotten and together they defended themselves against Mr. Binua, having attacked him until he bit one of the ladies and fled on his motorbike taking with him the peasant women’s two machetes, but in the escape, he left his cell phone behind. This same man has already assaulted other members of the community, men, women and even a girl, with impunity, and continues to walk arrogantly through the communities as if he was untouchable. Last Sunday, he was not so lucky, and by all accounts he received a brave and well-deserved beating from the two sisters, acting in self-defense.  Read more




Never has the shutdown of democracy in Mozambique been more evident than last March 18th, particularly in the cities of Maputo, Beira, Nampula, and Xai-Xai. It is a reality that we urgently need to resist and fight against. Since 2008 freedom of expression, demonstration, and association have been repressed, but it was in 2020 that the government and its international partners used Covid19 as an almost plausible pretext to restrict citizens’ freedoms, with the announcement of a set of measures that gave rise to restrictions on the mobility of people and goods, restrictions on public and private meetings, and limitations of the right to protest – a right that is constitutionally conferred to us through Article 51 of the Constitution of the Republic.

The last few years have been marked with threats against freedom of speech and association. Activists, journalists and community leaders that stand up against inequality, government abuse or megaprojects have been intimidated, persecuted and some are missing until this day1.

Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world, while at the same time owning vast natural resources. Coal, gas and oil have been exploited by transnationals, bringing riches to a few economic and political elites. Rural and peasant communities have been displaced, a violent insurgency has been ravaging the North of the country, and the government is focusing on a military strategy to deal with it. People from Cabo Delgado are being sexually assaulted, threatened and murdered by both insurgents and government military forces. On top of this, the government has been openly attacking civil society organisations accusing them of being ‘anti-government’ or ‘anti-development’, and drafting new laws aiming to restrict the freedom of association2. Read more