Climate Focus to support the West African Alliance on Carbon Markets and Climate Finance

With the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015, the context in which market mechanisms can be used has changed, leading to new challenges. Article 6 of the Paris Agreement establishes new mechanisms for voluntary international cooperation, including cooperative approaches that can be developed bottom-up by countries and a new UNFCCC governed mechanism for mitigation and sustainable development. At the same time the future of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is uncertain. It is not yet clear to what extent the new mechanisms will build on the achievements of the CDM including the reforms that benefitted African projects (i.e. Programme of Activities [PoAs], standardized baselines, suppressed demand, and operational simplifications) and by when they will become available. Furthermore, the future of CDM assets, expertise and capacity built in West African countries is in limbo. Many African countries start only now in realizing their potential, having missed out on benefitting from the CDM during the early years.

Climate Focus is a steering committee partner of the newly established West African Alliance on Carbon Markets and Climate Finance. The initiative from West African country representatives in the UNFCCC negotiations, aims to enhance the long-term position of West African countries to participate in international carbon markets and access results-based climate finance for NDC implementation.

To achieve this, the Alliance’s main objectives are to:

  1. Foster active participation by West African delegates in the UNFCCC negotiations on market mechanisms, transparency and climate finance;
  2. Promoting access to market mechanisms and climate finance opportunities on national and sub-regional level;
  3. Managing the transition of CDM related capacities and activities to the Paris Agreement context, engaging in pilots on the ground; and
  4. Supporting Article 6 pilot experiences in the sub-region while sharing implementation knowledge in the negotiations and vice versa.

Together with the West African Development Bank (BOAD), the UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Center Lomé and the Dakar-based NGO ENDA Energie, Climate Focus is supporting the operationalization and technical implementation of the Alliance.