Climate Change

Climate change is becoming a major contention to the sustainable development of the ECOWAS region. According to the ECOWAS 2013 annual report” West Africa stands to “pay a heavy price as a result of the negative effects of climate change in the coming years”

Presently, the region is experiencing sporadic changes in weather conditions. The 2013 IPCCC 5th Assessment Report states that the impacts of climate change currently being experienced will increase both in frequency and intensity. Change in precipitation levels and weather patterns are going to cause more intense droughts and storms that will in turn impact other sectors like Energy, Health, Trade and the Transport Sectors.

In the ECOWAS there are currently 126.2 million inhabitants out of the expanding population of over 334.6 million people (ECOWAS RE and EE status report, 2014) that lack access to electricity services. In addition, 80% of the population lack access to modern clean and affordable energy, relying mainly on biomass energy to meet their household energy needs. The quest for cheap and available energy has led to the reliance on the use of wood fuel which is unsustainable and a major contributor to CO2 retention in the atmosphere. If unchecked, the Impacts of climate change could limit any meaningful progress on reducing energy poverty and closing the energy access gap.

The impacts of climate change will also put stress on the current aging and limited energy infrastructure in the ECOWAS countries. The need to rapidly address the interrelated challenges of energy access, energy security and climate change mitigation simultaneously is therefore paramount to the ECOWAS region.

Given the region’s vulnerability to climate change, there is an urgent need to both mitigate carbon emissions and promote regionally appropriate adaptation measures, while at the same time tackling energy poverty. The potentials for climate change mitigation in the ECOWAS region are enormous. For instance not only can mitigation activities contribute towards reducing greenhouse gas-GHG emissions, it offers an opportunity to build a vibrant RE & EE sector and meet the energy access challenge in the region.

The ECCP aims to contribute towards the achievement of the sustainable development goals of the ECOWAS sub-region by supporting ECOWAS countries to mitigate the impacts of climate change through the deployment of renewable energy and the implementation of energy efficiency measures while enhancing the social, economic and energy security benefits.

Program Contact

Adeola Adebiyi

Programme Officer


John Yeboah

Programme Officer