Prospects towards advancing energy transition is gathering momentum after the 15 Ministers of Environment of ECOWAS Member States, meeting under the chairmanship of Dr Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation of Ghana, have validated the ECOWAS Regional Climate Strategy.
The Regional Climate Strategy contains sectoral objectives for adaptation a priority issue for the region and contribution to climate change mitigation by a multi-sectoral approach i.e. (transport, agriculture, energy, land use, water, health etc).
Mitigation in these industries can reduce environmental impacts and increase employment and business opportunities. Electrification though renewables and shifts in public transport can enhance health, employment and equity.
This Regional Climate Strategy is deemed a catalyst for action by all stakeholders. The ECOWAS Regional Climate Strategy is the result of a collaborative process between institutions, ECOWAS Member States within the subregion, technical and financial partners and civil society organisations, spanning more than a year. This culminated in a two-day high-level stakeholder workshop held at the end of April in Accra, Ghana.
By adopting this strategy, ECOWAS is committing itself alongside and with the support of its 15 Member States to make climate a priority for political action in the region, in line with its 2050 vision. This vision is based on the observation that the impacts of climate change are transboundary and that it is only together that the ECOWAS Member States can meet this challenge.
“Acting on climate change at the West African regional level is essential because the coordination of interventions, solidarity between the Member States and the commitment of local communities are the keys to effective and sustainable action on climate change. It is also an opportunity to raise the region’s voice on the international scene, by carrying the messages of a united and supportive region in the climate negotiations, and by structuring the mobilisastion of financial resources to massively increase international climate financing,” said Commissioner Sékou Sangaré, in charge of agriculture, environment and water resources at the ECOWAS Commission.
These targets are set for 2030, in line with the deadline for Member States’ commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement, with a review planned for 2050, in a process of continuous improvement as stated in this Agreement.
The Regional Climate Strategy also details how regional institutions, Member States, their partners and civil society actors will cooperate for its implementation. The strategy is seeking an institutional paradigm shift and deep transformations in society, which should result in each project and regional policy being compatible with the Paris Agreement and promoting the resilience of local communities.