Home Africa African Countries Propose Carbon Taxes to Fight Climate Change

African Countries Propose Carbon Taxes to Fight Climate Change

A three-day African Climate Summit took place in Kenya from September 4–6, 2023. At the close of the summit, African leaders passed the Nairobi Declaration, which proposes a new range of carbon taxes on a global level to fund climate action. The agenda of the summit was to mobilize financing in order to adapt to extreme weather conditions, conserve natural resources, and generate and develop renewable energy.

 Carbon Taxation

One of the many proposals that the Nairobi Declaration had was a global carbon taxation regime. According to the Declaration, the taxation would include a “carbon tax on fossil fuel trade, maritime transport, and aviation that may also be augmented by a global financial transaction tax”. This step is aimed at making the major contributors to CO2 emissions pay in order to help the poorer countries cope with the debilitating effects of climate change. According to William Ruto, president of Kenya and host of the summit, “We do not want to say ‘let those guys pay because they are the polluters’, we are saying, ‘let’s all pay’, and then let’s have a mechanism where we invest these resources where we unlock the biggest value on decarbonisation.”

Advantages of Carbon Taxation

The Nairobi Declaration maintained that carbon pricing would provide “affordable and accessible finance for climate-positive investments at scale.” The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also pointed out that this would be the most effective and fastest way to combat rising carbon dioxide emissions globally. Unfortunately, the idea had not gained traction among nations until recently. According to the IMF records, currently only two dozen countries impose taxes on carbon. If the benefits are to be reaped, more countries need to implement this regime.


The summit marked the first time that all the African countries came together to cope with the ongoing climate crisis. Addressing tens of thousands of delegates, the African leaders jointly raised concerns, spoke about challenges, and discussed feasible solutions to combat the financing of African nations to tackle the climate crisis. The Nairobi Declaration is expected to be used as a negotiating document by the African leaders at COP28, the UN climate summit, scheduled to take place at the end of the year in the United Arab Emirates.