Climate Change

Climate Change

The level of Greenhouse Gass (GHG) emissions in West Africa is estimated to be about 1.8%. Hence, The ECOWAS region would experience by 2060 a rise in temperature of +2.3 °C, or a warming of +0.6 °C per decade. Consequently, Climate Change is becoming a major contention for sustainable development of the ECOWAS region. The region is experiencing sporadic weather conditions which are increasing both in frequency and intensity. Precipitation levels and rainfall variability are changing causing droughts, floods, coastal and soil erosion which negatively impact agricultural productivity, food security. It should be noted region has some of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world, and Eleven (11) out of the fifteen (15) countries are categorized as Least Developing Countries (LDCs) and have minimal adaptive capacities to deal with current climate change impacts. As a result, the implication of climate hazards in ECOWAS Member States will have dramatic human and economic consequences which would adversely affect especially the most vulnerable population i.e., women, young people, and the elderly. According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), the impact of climate change on the continent could reach US$50 billion a year by 2040. Consequently, the effect of climate hazard will shrinkage performance of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of countries in Africa by 30% now to 2050. Further research from the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), foresee a reduction in GDP of 11.7% by 2050 in the low and high warming countries in the region. This alarming trend therefore necessitates the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) to institutionalize a climate-energy project as a thrust under its climate change programme addressing climate change through mitigation and adaptation mechanisms.

Increasing energy access in the ECOWAS sub region must also address the issue of greenhouse gas emissions as they are constantly intertwined together. As highlighted in the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Policy (EREP) document, climate change affects sustainable energy development in the ECOWAS region. This means that there is an urgent need to both mitigate carbon emissions and promote regionally appropriate adaptation measures, while at the same time tackling energy poverty.  One of ECREEEs main Objective is “to contribute to the sustainable economic, social and environmental development of West Africa by improving access to modern, reliable and affordable energy services, energy security and reduction of energy related externalities (GHG, local pollution)”. Within the framework of this objective, ECREEE has a mandate to advance low carbon development in the region. To achieve its mandate, it is therefore important for ECREEE to lead in low carbon development activities, by providing direct assistance for a national consultation process to enable wide understanding, encourage local ownership and guide the process toward the identification, design and implement of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions-NAMA in the region.  There are however barriers to advancing climate change mitigation in the ECOWAS region, which of which include policy gaps, financial limitations, limited capacity in mobilizing climate finances, and ability to implement climate change actions. The ECREEE Climate Change and Climate Energy Programme (ECCEP) will address these barriers by facilitating the identification, development, and implementation of climate finance projects addressing climate change mitigation actions through access to renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the ECOWAS Member States. The ECCEP will improve access to clean energy technologies to reduce GHG emission and advance low carbon development in the region.

ECOWAS Regional Climate Strategy and Action Plan 2023 – 2030

Programme Objective of ECREEE’s Climate Change and Climate-Energy Project (ECCEP) seek to support ECOWAS Members to mitigate the impact of climate change on the most vulnerable population by keeping carbon emission level low through the deployment of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RE and EE) projects. Furthermore, ECCEP addresses the following Specific Objectives:

  • Facilitate ECREEE’s accreditation to the Global Climate Fund and implementing partner in collaboration with EBID to facilitate access to climate finance to assist ECOWAS Member States meet their priority climate mitigation and adaptation country-driven needs. This will support achieving the tenets of the 2022–2030 ECOWAS Climate Finance Access and Mobilization Strategy. This will facilitate achieving ECREEE’s Strategic Outcomes 3.1; 3-2; and 3.3.
  • Support ECOWAS countries meet their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) by support Member States effort in reducing national emissions and adapting to climate impact through the implementation of climate-energy and clean energy tech. This will facilitate achieving ECREEE’s Strategic Outcome 2.5; and 2.11.
  • Strengthen the implementation of cutting-edge renewable energy and energy efficiency projects (Battery Energy Storage, Green Hydrogen, Digitalization of Energy Infrastructure and Services, Water-Energy-Food Nexus, Circular Economy and E-Mobility) in Member States and supporting the implementation of climate mitigating measures in compliance with exiting ECOWAS regional environmental framework for action namely, the ECOWAS’ 2008 Environmental Policy; 2020 – 2026 Environmental Action Plan, and the 2022 – 2026 Regional Climate Strategy. This will facilitate achieving ECREEE’s Strategic Outcome 2.3; 2.4; 2.5; and 2.10.

The lack of coordination at regional level is partially responsible for the underutilization of the endowed renewable energy potential of West Africa. Hence, the need for coordinated action to address prevailing climate, environmental and energy challenges facing ECOWAS Member States. In the framework of ECREEE’s 2023-2027 Strategic Plan, Climate Change is a Cross-Cutting Sub-Programme, hence ECREEE Climate Change and Climate-Energy Programme (ECCEP) is forging strategic project partners to address challenges for a just climate-energy transition in the ECOWAS region embarking on the following interventions:

Projects Under Preparation:

  • ResilienceCoLab: Uniting Gender-Inclusive Perspectives, Climate Insights and Local Data to foster Participatory Decision-making in ECOWAS Region with potential funding support from the International Climate Initiative (IKI) ranging between Euro 15 million to 20 million Euro.
  • Strengthen Energy-Environmental Governance by developing and supporting operational capacities of ECOWAS Member States to follow through on Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) on climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and waste management.
  • Reinforce Climate-Energy Action enhancing the capacity of ECOWAS Member States on the conduct and assessment on climate and deployment of mitigation and adaptation tools.
  • Support Climate-Energy Projects mobilizing green and climate finances from plethora of partners to avail catalytic private energy investment and development finance to Member States supporting proof-of-concept projects on climate-energy.
  • Enforce Compliance with Exiting ECOWAS Regional Frameworks ensuring adherence to energy-environmental social safeguards through the conduct of ESHIA to reduce/mitigate climate risks and vulnerability in the implementation of sustainable renewable energy projects in ECOWAS Member States

ECREEE’s Climate Energy and Climate-Energy Programme (ECCEP) supports the implementation of MEAs and ECOWAS regional environmental framework for action. It also directly supports achieving the following Expected Outcomes aligned with ECREEE’s 2023–2027 Strategic Plan:

Outcome 1: ECOWAS Countries readiness for the implementation of climate-energy assured:

  • Deployment of clean and novel energy technologies in ECOWAS Member States increased (Strategic Outcome 2.3; and 2.4).
  • GHG emission level in the region is reduced (Strategic Outcome 2.5).
  • Member States’ capacity on climate mitigation and adaptation measured developed (Strategic Outcome 2.10; and 2.11).

Outcome-2: Sustainability on the implementation of climate-energy in the ECOWAS region guaranteed:

  • ECREEE’s accreditation and accession to the Green Climate Fund approved (Strategic Outcome 3.2).
  • Partnerships with a plethora of global network of energy, climate and green finance investors forged (Strategic Outcome 3.1; and 3.3).

ADA – Austrian Development Agency

UNIDO – United Nations Development Organization

AECID – Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation

WASCAL – West Africa Science Service Centre on Climate Change & Adaptation Land Use

GIZ – German Development Agency (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale
Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH)

EU – European Union

GCF – Global Climate Fund

IEA – Internal Energy Agency

AFREC – African Energy Commission

SE4ALL – Sustainable Energy for ALL

SEFA – Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa

IRENA – International Renewable Energy Agency

UNEP – United Nations Environment Programme

UNDP – United Nations Development Programme

EBID – ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development

USAID – United States Agency for International Development

In the framework of ECREEE’s 2023-2027 Strategic Plan, Climate Change is a Cross-Cutting Sub-Programme. Hence, proposed Climate-Energy Project seeks to forge strategic project partnerships in addressing a just climate-energy transition for the ECOWAS Member States.

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