ECOWAS Facilitates The Development of Climate Change Projects in Nigeria

Abuja, 8th December, 2020. The ECOWAS Commission is facilitating the development of climate change projects in order to help in the establishment of a pool of national experts in Member States.

To this end, a four-Day training workshop began in Abuja, Nigeria on the 8th of December, 2020 to promote, among others, the sustainable management of resources for improving the regional economy while respecting the environment.

Besides supporting Nigeria through the training of a pool of experts on climate change projects development, the Workshop also aims to facilitate the implementation of the initial activities of the regional climate change adaptation programme.

At the opening of the Workshop, the ECOWAS’ Commission’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Sekou Sangare who spoke through the Director, environment and Natural Resources Dr. Johnson Boanuh, restated the importance of the training in assisting national experts to develop climate projects and access Green Climate Funds (GCF).

According to him, the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 marked an important turning point in the process of combating climate change. He however admitted the existence of challenges in accessing several funds.

He said it was in order to assist countries to overcome the challenges, that the ECOWAS Commission “initiated in 2015, several capacity building programs for Designated National Authorities on procedures for accessing said funds, in particular the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund”.

He noted further that with the coming on board of a new approach, the workshop will make it possible for the ECOWAS’ Member States to have a pool of experts who can support the Designated National Authorities in the coordination of projects and programs development, with the various development actors aimed at mobilizing resources from existing climate funds.

He expressed gratitude to the Swedish Cooperation and the European Union for their provision of financial and technical support in the conduct of the training in the ECOWAS countries.
The goodwill message of the Nigerian ministry of Environment was given by the representative of the Director, Department of Climate Change Mrs. Benny Ejiofor who noted among others, that the entire globe was at a defining moment in its history.

From changing weather patterns that threaten food security, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, she emphasized that the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale, such that “if drastic and decisive actions are not taken now, coping with these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly”

An overview of the Workshop’s goals was given by the project coordinator at the ECOWAS Commission’s climate change Directorate Mr. Konan Raoul Kouame. Participants were urged to carefully follow the modules and help to boost the efforts already made by Nigeria in accessing the resources of the Green Climate Fund in particular.

Global Leaders Highlight Need To Invest For COVID-Climate Recovery

Developing countries need green investment to recover from the COVID recession and meet the climate challenge.

This was the key message from world leaders during the opening of the three-day Green Climate Fund (GCF) Private Investment for Climate Conference.

Highlighting the importance of COVID-19 recovery decisions taken now, United Nations Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed said the twin COVID-19 and climate crises offer the world an opportunity to chart a new path of sustainable development.

“The recovery from the pandemic has to be an opportunity that creates jobs, that closes our gender gap and reduces the inequalities,” She said. “But it must also put us on track to meet our climate targets.”

“The important work of the Green Climate Fund is required more than ever as we accelerate the decarbonisation of the global economy, and we try to strengthen resilience and adaptation across the developing world,” the Deputy Secretary General added.

Senegal President Macky Sall shared his strategy for a green energy transition in Senegal in the era of COVID-19.

“Harnessing green financing will enable Senegal’s recovery plan to boost our renewable energy supply,” he stated.

“Universal energy access must be an important part of the recovery plan”, he added, stressing the need to link sustainable development goals with economic recovery from the pandemic.

Nobel economic prize winner Professor Joseph Stiglitz stated “Green investments are timely, labour intensive, targeted, have large multipliers…[they] can and should be a central part of the recovery packages… they enable us to not only recover from the pandemic, they enable us to recover greener, with more equality, with more resilience.”

Christiana Figueres, Founder of Global Optimism and ex-Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC compared COVID and climate to massive waves crashing on a beach and called for an injection of capital from global economies that is both green and socially inclusive.

Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance, Indonesia, stated, “The implementation of green recovery will be the driver for the world’s economic transformation. Indonesia has been, and will continue to be, committed to reducing our carbon emissions in addition to achieving a climate-resilient nation.”

Launching a new working paper on how to increase green investment in the face of COVID and climate challenges, GCF Executive Director Yannick Glemarec stated,

“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought us to a tipping point or a turning point in our fight against climate change. Decisions taken by leaders today to revive their economies will either entrench our dependence on fossil fuels or put us on a path to achieve the Paris Agreement and the SDGs.”

GCF has brought together leaders in the business and public sectors for its third annual private sector-focused conference to explore new ways to collaborate with businesses to fund climate action in developing countries.

The forum is designed to tap the entrepreneurial energies of businesses large and small to create new sustainable markets and to resolve the climate finance paradox. This involves finding ways to redirect the trillions of dollars currently earning negative interest rates towards financing developing countries’ green, resilient COVID-19 recovery focusing on climate action.

UNFCCC Meetings to Showcase Technologies for Low-Emission Buildings

UN Climate Change News, 17 September 2020 – Experts from around the world will get together virtually on 30 September, 7 & 14 October to discuss policy options, technological innovations and best practices on sustainable low-emission housing and building solutions.

As the sector with the most potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the objective of the upcoming meetings is to build a community that drives and implements an ambitious vision for the sector: zero carbon buildings by 2050.

Led and organized by the UNFCCC secretariat and the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, the meetings have three broad areas of discussion: “Cool buildings for all”; “Building (back) better: Mobilizing the value chain towards a circular economy”; and “Developing pathways for moving to scale”.

Participants will discuss currently available policy and technological solutions as well as innovative approaches on how we can achieve the vision of zero carbon buildings by 2050 and thereby harness the significant potential of the buildings and construction sector in limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C or at least well below 2°C.

Experts from both the public and private sector and civil society from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Pacific will share their experiences on the ground, which will help identify the necessary action to be taken to replicate and upscale innovations in the building sector.

The upcoming meetings follow on the heels of a series of four regional technical expert meetings last month that showcased climate-friendly technology solutions for cooling systems in buildings.

These meetings are part of the technical examination process on mitigation (TEP-M), that was initiated in 2014 with the aim of exploring high-potential mitigation policies, practices and technologies with significant sustainable development co-benefits that could increase the mitigation ambition of pre-2020 climate action.

Nigeria became the 144th country to ratify the Doha Amendment.

With hours to the deadline, Nigeria became the 144th country to ratify the Doha Amendment, ensuring it would come into force before it expires this year.

The Doha Amendment will come into force this year after Nigeria became the 144th country to ratify the climate treaty on Friday, in a last-minute scramble to tie the loose ends of the Kyoto Protocol era. 

UN Climate Change confirmed Nigeria had formally endorsed the climate treaty hours before a deadline that required 144 of the 192 signatories to ratify the deal for it to come into force on 31 December 2020 — a day before it is due to expire.

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol set binding climate targets for developed countries. The amendment signed in Qatar in 2012 extended their obligations and created a second commitment period for 37 countries to cut their emissions from 2013 to 2020.

In the last few weeks, UN Climate Change head Patricia Espinosa had been encouraging countries to expedite the ratification of the amendment. “It’s about fulling commitments,” she said.

Jamaica was another late mover, rushing to endorse the treaty on Thursday.  “Jamaica steps up Usain Bolt speed,” the country’s climate change division said in a tweet, announcing it was formally submitting its instrument of ratification to the UN.

While it has some implications for carbon accounting, the Doha amendment’s entry into force is mostly symbolic. It provides closure to the climate regime established in Kyoto as the world moves to implement the Paris Agreement, which requires every country to contribute climate targets.

“While we would have preferred a much different ‘ending’ of the Kyoto Protocol, it played a critical role in its first period by driving innovation, raising awareness and catalysing climate action,” Yamide Dagnet, director of climate negotiations at the World Resources Institute, told Climate Home News.

Its lessons on measuring, reporting and reviewing emissions reductions should continue to inform the implementation of the Paris Agreement, she said. But “those most responsible for the climate crisis should have taken the lead in reducing emissions and it is deeply disappointing that many of them did not,” she added.

Although the US signed the protocol, it never ratified it. Japan, Russia, and Canada refused to take part in the second commitment period.

Under the Doha Amendment, countries were collectively required to cut emissions by at least 18% below 1990 levels by 2020. Recent data analysed by UN Climate Change shows the 37 developed countries had reduced emissions 25.3% by 2018.

Countries were allowed to offset emissions by investing in carbon-cutting projects in poorer nations and most developed countries have fulfilled their commitments.

UN Climate Change is expected to publish a formal review of countries’ carbon-cutting efforts during the period to 2020.

The Doha targets were far from enough to reverse emissions’ upwards trend. In fact, global emissions rose significantly during that time.

A 2019 report by the UN Environment Programme found that current level of global greenhouse gas emissions were almost exactly at the level of emissions projected for 2020 under a scenario which assumed the world would put no new climate policies into place from 2005 onwards.

While failure to ratify the amendment may not have been consequential for advancing climate action, it would have undermined trust in the climate negotiations process, analysts say.

Mark Lutes, senior advisor on global climate policy for WWF, wrote in a blog post that the entry into force of the Doha amendment was “about more than just tying up loose ends, and more than avoiding an embarrassing gap in the global climate regime because not enough countries could be bothered to push their ratifications through”.

“It is also about demonstrating that they take seriously the pre-2020 period and its commitments that end this year,” he said.

And yet, most of the countries that have not ratified the amendment are developing countries, which had no such commitments to fulfil.

The Kyoto era may have some spill over into future climate negotiations.

Australia has proposed using credits from overachieving its Kyoto target to meet its 2030 climate target under the Paris Agreement, which would considerably allow it to slow the shift to clean energy. The bulk of those would come from the second commitment period.

Nine international and climate law professors have previously written to the Australian government warning this was inconsistent with international law and would set “a dangerous precedent” for other countries to “exploit loopholes or reserve their right not to comply with the Paris Agreement”.

It has become a point of contention in the UN climate negotiations and Australia has come under repeated pressure from the international community to abandon the plan.

Negotiations on the issue are expected to continue at the Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow, UK, in November 2021.