NAIROBI, April 13 (Xinhua) -- The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) on Friday urged African governments to embark on massive development of solar and renewal energy to help combat climate change.
UNEP Executive Director Erik Solheim told the governments to view climate change as an opportunity by resorting to the alternative clean options.
"Climate change should be viewed as an opportunity in disguise that should be utilized well in bringing people out of poverty," Solheim said during the closing ceremony of the 10th Africa Carbon Forum in Nairobi.
He said that climate change should not be looked at as an impediment to development yet it also provides opportunities for growth.
"Solar power's usage and popularity rose in 2017 above coal and gas-fired power, the highest ever globally," he added.
He challenged African governments to liaise with China and India through South-South cooperation to help them exploit solar potentials in the Sahel region and other regions.
Solheim observed that China has set a good example of a country that started its development agenda from agriculture before moving to other development areas and finally settling in renewal energy.
The UNEP chief noted that renewal energy offers the continent a good opportunity to leapfrog to creating energy revolution as happened in the telecommunication sub sector.
Solheim said that green energy sector alone is capable of creating additional job opportunities for graduating students if harnessed well.
He told political leaders and environmental experts to start engaging farmers and indigenous communities in playing a pivotal role in helping meet the Paris Agreement on climate change.
David Ongare, the Director of Compliance and Enforcement at Kenya's National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) called for regional collaboration to help reduce the effects of climate change in the continent.
Ongare stressed the need to embark on utilization of research so as to advice communities on effects, adaptation and mitigation of climate change effects.
The 10th Africa Carbon Forum that was convened by the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) was attended by delegates from 47 African countries, members of the civil society and experts from around the globe.