Climate Change & Energy
Racing to meet the Paris Agreement: ECOWAS validate Regional Climate Strategy
Source: Zamireports.com - May 2, 2022
As the bloc races to meet the Paris Agreement, ECOWAS has urged its members to work together to address the effects of climate change. On Friday, April 29, the 15 Environment Ministers of ECOWAS Member States validated the ECOWAS Regional Plan document as well as the document for mobilizing financial resources for the implementation of the climate strategy in Accra.
The workshop is part of the last stages of the ECOWAS Commission’s 1st Regional Climate Strategy formulation process. In December 2020, the ECOWAS Commission led this procedure through the European Commission-funded GCCA+ West Africa project, Expertise France partnered with the ECOWAS Commission.
The regional climate strategy collaborative process brought together regional institutions, ECOWAS Member States, technical and financial partners, and civil society for a two-day roundtable session in Ghana’s capital Accra on April 26 and 27 for a technical segment of experts and the validation by the Specialized Ministerial Technical Committee on April 29.
The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
Countries aspire to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as feasible to produce a climate-neutral world by mid-century in order to meet this long-term temperature objective.
A total of 294 billion dollars will be invested in the ECOWAS Regional Climate Change Strategy over a ten-year period. The European Union is assisting ECOWAS in implementing the regional policy as part of a concerted effort to empower members in the area of climate adaptation.
Director of environment, science, technology, and innovation, Mr Peter Dery said in the 2021 IPCC Report, which has been dubbed the “atlas of human suffering,” by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, climate change is forcing the world’s most vulnerable on a front match to destruction, and thus nearly half of humanity is living in a danger zone.
“It is even more worrying to note that the extreme weather events continue to disproportionately impact countries vulnerable to climate change, particularly in West Africa. In Ghana, our farmers are unable to predict the crop season and most reservoirs such as rivers and damps dry up in less than three months after the rainy season. The Regional Strategy presents another opportunity for joint actions in other to meet the Paris Agreement.”
ECOWAS has been piloting the development of a regional climate strategy for more than a year, with the technical and financial support of Expertise France and the European Union, through the Global Climate Change Alliance Plus West Africa project, in order to work alongside and support its fifteen Member States in making climate a priority for political action in the region, as well as to give them the impetus to meet this challenge.
HE Sekou Sangare, ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, HE Dr Kwaku Afriyie, Ghana’s Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation represented by the Director of Environment Mr Peter Dery, HE Irchad Ramiandrasoa Razaaly, Ambassador of the European Union to Ghana, and Jérémie Pellet, Director General of Expertise France are among the dignitaries at the meeting.
According to the IPCC, a 2.5-degree increase in temperature might result in 90 million internal climate refugees, with two-thirds of them living in West Africa. But we also know that there are solutions; and because climate change knows no borders, it is apparent that the battle against climate change must be carried out at the regional level, Christophe COTTET, Country Director of the AFD (French Development Agency Group) said.