ECOWAS climate strategy workshop ends in Accra

A two-day high-level stakeholder workshop on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Climate Strategy has ended in Accra with all 15 Ministers of Environment of the ECOWAS Member States validating the strategy.

The strategy contains sectoral objectives for adaptation which is a priority issue for the West African sub-region.

It also contributes to climate change mitigation by multi sectoral approach including, transport, agriculture, energy, land use, water and health.

Briefing the media at the end of the meeting, the ECOWAS Commissioner in-charge of Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, Sekou Sangare said by adopting the strategy, ECOWAS was committing itself alongside and with the support of its 15 member states making climate a priority for political action in the region.

He explained that this was in line with the region’s vision 2050 which was based on the observation that the impacts of climate change were transboundary.

Mr Sangare said the strategy contained sectoral objectives for adaptation which was a priority issue for the region and a contribution to climate change mitigation by a multi sectoral approach.

“These targets are set for 2030, in line with the deadline for member states’ commitment under the Paris Climate Agreement, with a review planned for 2050, in a process of continuous improvement as stated in this agreement,” he emphasised.

The commissioner said the implementation of the strategy for the first 10 years would require about $240billion, however, the finances would be raised with the support of development partners.

On his part, the Chief Director at the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr Peter Derry explained that the overall objective of the ECOWAS Regional Climate Strategy was to support member states to tackle the challenge of the fight against climate change in particular for the achievement of their commitments under the Paris Agreement.

He said ECOWAS was motivated by logic of continuous improvement in line with the principle of advancing the ambition set by the Paris Agreement and the need to set targets aligned with scientific knowledge.

Mr Derry noted that it was important to have a regional strategy because climate change affected everyone as such there was a collective responsibility to act on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Touching on why the European Union was partnering the ECOWAS for the development of the strategy, the Director, Expertise France, Mr Jeremy Pellet said the EU was the only Supranation that had signed the Paris Agreement into force and that was why it was partnering ECOWAS.

He explained that issues of climate change required collaboration rather than leaving it for individual countries and blocks.

BY CLIFF EKUFUL

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