Over 300 Civil Service Societies (CSOs) across West Africa have so far been mobilized to take stock of Governments’ progress on the Paris Agreement based on their nationally determined contributions to climate change.
This was revealed by Dr. Kwame Hackman, Project Lead of the Independent Global Stocktake, West African Hub, at the second side event organized by WASCAL and its partners, including CSIR, South Africa, with support from Climate Works Foundation at the Africa Climate Week in Nairobi.
Dr. Hackman showcased the success stories of the hub so far, citing the commitment of the hub to bring together climate civil society stakeholders, including campaigners and climate researchers to support the Global Stocktake and to push for more Climate Action, to provide a common platform for engagement among the stakeholders to communicate a coherent regionally relevant set of messages in West Africa and at the international level, as well as to build a platform for mutual learning and knowledge sharing among the stakeholders recognizing the evolving nature of needs and responses by respective countries in West Africa.
“With the help of over 300 Civil Society Organizations, working on different climate-related themes, who immediately saw the potential and tapped into the vision by engaging in the different formation processes, we are here today to share some lessons while further discussing issues that relate to the future of the Hub”. He shared.
Dr Hackman called on all West Africans to join hands together as civil society and engage policymakers and governments to ensure commitment and decision to their nationally determined contributions as pledged in the Paris Agreement.
Speaking on the essence of the IGST and what it can seek to achieve for the sub-region, WASCAL Interim Executive Director, Prof. Kehinde Ogunjobi cited the exciting opportunities and the need to canvass for support from all sectors to ensure a successful complementary engagement between the CSOs and the Parties be optimized to increase climate ambition in the region execution of the innovative hub.
Mr. Francis-Casey Cronin of Climate Works Foundation, funder of the project, spoke on the essence of what should be the initial focus of the iGST Regional Hubs, in line with the global process of GST. He stated that the iGST aligned the independent community — from modelers and analysts to campaigners and advocates — so there was the need to push together for a robust GST that empowers countries to take greater climate action.
The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are at the heart of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of its long-term goals. NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Paris Agreement (Article 4, paragraph 2) requires each Party to prepare, communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that it intends to achieve. Parties shall pursue domestic mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions.
The UNFCCC provides several opportunities to civil society organizations (CSOs) to contribute at different phases of the Global Stocktake (GST). A unique initiative in this regard is the Independent Global Stocktake (iGST). The iGST is a consortium of civil society organizations structured as a set of complementary workstreams that work together to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement. WASCAL and CSIR over the past year have facilitated the formation and operationalization of the iGST West Africa Hub (iGST WA Hub), which is one of three regional hubs of iGST.
This Hub was officially launched in May 2023. It has brought together over 100 climate CSOs, and includes youth, women, campaigners, and climate researchers. The iGST WA Hub aims to enhance climate action in West Africa including through building on the outputs of the first GST.