EAC SHOW-CASES REGIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE INITIATIVES AT THE ONGOING UNFCC IN MARRAKECH, MOROCCO

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, November 10th,
2016:

The EAC Secretariat has successfully held a joint side-event
themed “EAC Climate Change Programmes: Showcasing Success Stories,
Lessons Learned, and Future Plans to Achieving Sustainable
Development” at the ongoing 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties
(COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) and the 12th Meeting of Parties to Kyoto Protocol (CMP12) at
the African Pavilion in Bab Ighli, Marrakech, Morocco.

In collaboration with Partners, the EAC Secretariat showcased the
achievements that have been realized in the region in a bid to
strengthen resiliency and sustainability of key productive sectors in
a wake of climate change.

Welcoming delegates to the side-event, the EAC Director of Productive
Sector, Mr. Jean Baptiste Havugimana, said the COP22/CMP12 is
providing an opportunity for region to re-negotiate and agree on the
modality to contribute to Global Emission Reductions through
implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). He
said COP22/CMP12 represents a moment of opportunity for East Africa
and Africa as a whole to assert itself in global climate governance
and ensure that the implementation of the Paris Agreement are
congruent with the continent’s long term sustainable development
agenda.

Mr. Havugimana, who is also heading the EAC Technical Team at the
COP22, said the EAC Secretariat was greatly honoured to jointly
organize the side-event with USAID/PREPARED Project, GIZ, IUCN, UNFCCC
and ARCOS. The event focused on the 3 thematic areas, namely;
Enhancing Ambition – Pre-2020 Action; any issues that help increase
and realize ambition; Promoting Implementation – Methodologies,
Showcasing of Climate Action, Global Stock Take; and Providing Support
to Developing Countries – Means of Implementation, Replicable Tools
and Approaches.

The PREPARED USAID/Kenya and East Africa Technical Advisor, Ms. Emily
Massawa highlighted to the delegates the Climate Change Adaptation
Component of the Planning for Resilience in East Africa through
Policy, Adaptation, Research, and Economic Development (PREPARED). She
disclosed that using participatory tools to plan and implement
community adaptation projects, so far they have identified climate
change “hot-spots” at community-level, their risks and adaptation
strategies. “With communities, we have developed adaptation options
and projects and support small scale pilot climate change adaptation
projects at community level (17 communities), said the USAID official.

Ms. Emily Massawa reaffirmed the objectives of PREPARED, which include
among others, climate change adaptation technical capacity, policy
leadership, and action readiness of regional institutions improved;
resilient and sustainable management of biologically significant
trans-boundary freshwater ecosystems in the East African Community
region strengthened; and resilient and sustainable water supply,
sanitation, and wastewater treatment services in the Lake Victoria
Basin enhanced.

The EAC Renewable Energy Expert, Mr. Turyahabwe Elsam briefed the
delegates on the region’s renewable energy resource potential. He said
there were great opportunities in the Hydro Power, Geothermal,
Biomass, Wind, Solar, and Wave Energy and disclosed that the Region
had a policy target to have Renewable Energy contribute 65% of the
electricity production.

The EAC Renewable Energy Expert highlighted the existing framework for
renewable energy and energy efficiency development and promotion in
EAE that include; Regional Strategy on Scaling Up Access to Modern
Energy Services and 5 year implementation action plan; Regional Cross
Border Electrification Policy; Regional Power Master Plan; and Climate
Change Policy and Plan.

He disclosed that the region had robust targets for the regional
strategy on scaling up access to modern energy services which include;
providing access to modern cooking practices for 50% of the population
that currently uses traditional cooking fuel; providing access to
reliable electricity for all urban and peri-urban poor; providing
access to modern energy services for all schools, clinics, hospitals
and community centres; and providing access to mechanical power for
productive uses for all communities

Mr. Turyahabwe briefed the delegates on the establishment of the EAC
Centre of Excellence for renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
(EACREEE) to compliment and strengthen the ongoing EAC Partner States’
initiatives in the areas of policy and capacity development, knowledge
management and raising awareness as well as investment and business
promotion.

He highlighted the opportunities in renewable energy and energy
efficiency development in EAC for both private and public
participation that include, among others, investments in Renewable
Energy for Electricity production as there is increased demand for
electricity in the region plus a conducive policy regime; joining EAC
government, UNIDO and ADA to support EACREEE to be fully operational;
investment in solar water heating in the region, an opportunity that
is still intact; and preparation of the renewable Energy Master Plan
and Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan.

Presenting on the EAC Sustainable Climate Change Finance by 2020, the
EAC Principal Environment and Natural Resource Officer (PENRO), Eng.
Ladislaus K. Leonidas noted that climate change was one of the most
pressing threats to development today and addressing it requires that
countries transform their economies and grow in a different way.

He said development planning must integrate climate change issues so
that policies and actions across multiple sectors and scales lower
greenhouse gas emissions, reduce vulnerability to climate shocks and
deliver poverty reduction gains.

He argued that countries have new and expanded opportunities to
finance climate change actions and that in order to take advantage of
these opportunities, however, the right institutional and financial
mechanisms must be in place so that resources are directed efficiently
toward national climate and development priorities.

On the EAC Climate Finance, Eng. Leonidas said financial resources to
implement the Policy was a key element in the implementation of the
Climate Change Policy and that substantial funds will be required to
support mitigation and adaptation initiatives/programmes. “Sustainable
funding shall be mobilized from the development partners including
multilateral agencies, bilateral partners and intergovernmental
agencies and the private sector. There will also be efforts by Partner
States to provide supplementary resources”.

He disclosed that EAC’s climate finance readiness activities includes;
application to Adaptation Fund (AF) and Green Climate Fund (GCF) for
accreditation as a Regional Implementing Entity (RIE); setting and
operationalization of the EAC Climate Change Fund and developing a
climate change financing sustainability plan; and leading the climate
change resource mobilization processes through project design,
development and financing.

Meanwhile, addressing the official opening session of the 22nd Session
of the Conference of Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 12th Meeting of Parties
to Kyoto Protocol (CMP12), Morocco’s Foreign Minister and newly
elected COP22 President Salaheddine Mezouar underscored his country’s
willingness to host the conference as a demonstration of Africa’s
commitment as a whole to contribute to global efforts to tackle
climate change. “It emphasizes Africa’s desire to take its destiny in
hand, to reduce its vulnerability and strengthen its resilience,” he
said. The Conference took off just three days after the Paris Climate
Change Agreement entered into force.

Addressing the same occasion, the Executive Secretary of United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat, Ms.
Patricia Espinosa underlined 5 key areas in which work needs to be
taken forward, namely; finance to allow developing countries to green
their economies and build resilience; nationally determined
contributions (national climate action plans), which need to be
integrated into national policies and investment plans; support for
adaptation which needs to be given higher priority; capacity building
needs of developing countries, which should be tailored and specific
to their needs; and lastly; full engagement of non-party stakeholders
from the North and South, as they are central to the global action
agenda for transformational change.

For more information please contact: Owora Richard Othieno, Head of
Department; Corporate Communications and Public Affairs; Tel:
+212-633449857; Email: oothieno@eachq.org<mailto:oothieno@eachq.org>;

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Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
http://www.eac.int<http://www.eac.int/>

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