Regional Expert Meeting on Climate Change and Enhanced RE Deployment in West and Central Africa



With over two thirds of global emissions coming from the energy sector, action to reduce carbon intensity in energy production and use has become critical in the fight against climate change. The role of renewable energy and energy efficiency is already widely acknowledged as key means for the de-carbonisation of energy systems.

The Paris Agreement that was adopted at the twenty first session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (“COP21”) heralds a new era of climate action involving all countries and taking into account their specific circumstances, priorities, responsibilities and respective capabilities. The pledges and plans for climate action through intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) that had been submitted in the lead up and during the conference will be inscribed in the Agreement after signature and form the basis for action to be undertaken towards the overall objective of limiting global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius.

Fifty two African countries submitted INDCs, which included aspirational targets across different sectors or in some cases, concrete and tangible packages of measures that would necessitate the development of new policies or the reform of existing ones. In many of the plans submitted, enhanced renewable energy deployment is highlighted as a key strategy to achieve de-carbonisation of the energy sector and thus, to enhance climate action. However, the level of detail complementing renewable energy strategies in INDCs varies from country to country. In some cases, there is specific information on the relevant targets envisaged while in others, countries allude to possible reform of the energy sector to increase the share of renewable energy in their respective national energy mix.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Regional Collaboration Centres in Lomé and Kampala with support from the government of Sweden are organizing a regional expert meetings - for West and Central Africa. These meetings come as response to requests from African countries to support their efforts to enhance renewable energy as part of ambitious climate strategies. The meetings will bring together energy and climate change policy makers and planners to enable a coherent and coordinated approach to developing strategies to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the realisation of the investment opportunities presented by INDCs. All three organisations have been working with countries to assess their readiness for renewables and harness opportunities to develop their potential in the field. 


The workshops aim to:

1. Contribute to the discussion and efforts on strategies to implement INDCS relating to renewable energy in the context of addressing climate change in the regions covered, including through strengthened dialogue and collaboration between climate and energy policy makers and planners;

2. Highlight the high potential and opportunities for enhanced renewable energy deployment in Africa and its contribution to climate change mitigation, as well as the various co-benefits of renewables for social and economic development;

3. Showcase examples of renewable energy strategies being developed or undertaken by countries, including opportunities for regional collaboration as countries prepare to move into a post-Paris implementation phase of climate actions;

4. Provide information on potential financing tools for renewable energy in the region including opportunities for RE investments in climate finance.

As part of the meeting, a scoping paper will be prepared that will be further developed reflecting the deliberations and recommendations of the meeting and presented as output that could be used as a reference to climate and renewable energy experts. The outcome of the regional expert meetings could also feed into briefings for the political leadership as well as input to the technical expert meetings that will be continued under the UNFCCC process.