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GCCA+ West Africa
Supporting West Africa’s regional effort for the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement

© Neil Palmer Photography - CIAT


The project aims to build the capacities of regional institutions and their member countries and bring about innovative adaptation solutions that contribute to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • €12.1m
  • 28/12/2017
  • 60 months

GCCA+, a global European Union initiative in the fight against climate change

An initiative launched in 2007

The Global Climate Change Alliance “Plus” (GCCA+ or AMCC+) is the second phase of an initiative launched by the European Commission in 2007. It aims to step up the dialogue and cooperation in the fight against climate change between the European Union (EU) and the most vulnerable developing countries.

This second phase in particular aims to take changes in development issues into account and thereby contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.



The GCCA+ Initiative comprises:

• A “Global” programme, composed of programmes broken down by country under the supervision of the local EU delegations;

•  An “Intra-ACP” programme, which aims to work at regional levels and has been divided into regional components, including a West Africa component implemented by Expertise France under the auspices of ECOWAS.


Stepping up the dialogue and cooperation

The GCCA+ Initiative is continuing to support countries via two mutually reinforcing pillars:

• Political and technical dialogue;

• Support for the establishment of national and regional policies for climate change adaptation and mitigation, with greater emphasis on the management of climate knowledge and communication on it.

The priorities for GCCA+ are as follows:

• Strengthen the scientific and technical capacity of the subregion to reduce vulnerability to climate change;

• Promote the integration of aspects of climate change into development policies, strategies, programmes and projects at the subregional and national levels;

• Support the development and implementation of subregional and national climate change adaptation programmes and projects.

GCCA+ West Africa: Contributing to the West African regional effort for the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement

The GCCA+ West Africa project is the regional component of the Intra-ACP programme and aims to contribute to the West African regional effort for the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement. To this end, it specifically focuses on building the capacities of West African regional institutions, but also on bringing about innovative field solutions to strengthen the climate resilience of agricultural and rural actors.

Following a one-year preliminary phase, the project implementation is scheduled to last four years (2019-2022) and will focus on the following areas:

Strengthening the institutional leadership of ECOWAS on the climate by developing regional strategies and community mechanisms for member countries,

Supporting the operational implementation by countries of the commitments they made at the time of the Paris Agreement,

Building the capacities of negotiators and regional delegations in the context of the annual UNFCCC negotiations, to develop common regional positions,

Facilitating access to climate finance, in particular such as the Green Climate Fund, by building the project engineering capacities of institutional and private actors with the capacity to take on large-scale projects for the region,

Providing diploma-based training on climate change in the region, and e-learning continuous training courses for a wider public,

Financing pilot adaptation projects in the rural development and resilient agriculture sector by launching a call for projects.


Project news

• December 2022: GCCA+ West Africa's participation at COP27: outcomes and perspectives

• December 2022: Adaptation of West African agriculture under debate at COP27

• November 2022: “Our ambition is to make all our policies climate-compatible to ensure that climate is truly mainstreamed in the region”

• September 2022: Learning from pilot projects for better adaptation to climate change in West Africa

• September 2022: Major advances in building climate resilience

• April 2022: Expertise France is assisting the ECOWAS Commission with the development of its Regional Climate Strategy

• March 2022: GCCA+ West Africa: executive training, a structuring action to accelerate climate action.

• December 2021The GCCA+ West Africa project supports the ECOWAS Commission in strengthening their leadership in the international climate negotiations

• September 2021Climate: 30 West African journalists trained in climate change reporting challenges and techniques

• July 2021: Climate: “Local governments must be at the forefront”

• May 2021: GCCA+ West Africa project’s 2020 annual review: concrete achievements have been made to accelerate action on climate

 • March 2021: Climate: Improving the availability of hydro-climatic data to support robust climate policies in West Africa

• February 2021: Climate: 2021 remains a crucial year to review the commitments of West African countries

• January 2021: West Africa: launch of 11 new climate-smart agriculture pilot projects

• October 2020: Climate finance flows in West Africa: mapping to improve access to climate finance

• October 2020: 2019 for the GCCA+ West Africa project: bases for regional climate action

• September 2020: Climate change in West Africa: ECOWAS publishes a guide to implementation of the Paris Agreement for developing countries

• June 2020: West Africa: Launch of four climate-smart agriculture pilot projects

• October 2019:  Climate Chance Africa: Training to more effectively process climate information

• June 2019: Alain Sy Traoré: “The climate no longer concerns a single country”

Close coordination between Expertise France, ECOWAS and CILSS

This project is implemented by Expertise France under the leadership of the ECOWAS Commission, in partnership with CILSS.

Expertise France has set up a regional project coordination unit (PCU), which is housed at the ECOWAS Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF). RAAF is based in Lomé (Togo) and has the mandate to monitor and support the implementation of regional projects under the umbrella of ECOWAS.

The project will also directly have a base at the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, working closely with the PCU, through the presence of a technical assistant on climate finance.

Furthermore, in the context of the project implementation, Expertise France has signed two partnership agreements: one with ECOWAS for housing the PCU at RAAF and the project governance, and the other with CILSS for the implementation of part of the activities relating to scientific production.

Diagnostic on the implementation of the Paris Agreement in the region


In the context of the preliminary phase, Expertise France has conducted a diagnostic study to obtain a regional overview of the implementation of the Paris Agreement and identify the steps that need to be taken with regional institutions and countries to facilitate this implementation.

The report has highlighted the need to:

• Mobilise more financing, both public and private;

Popularise “climate” issues;

• Strengthen the monitoring tools for the implementation of the climate commitments;

• Build capacities for research and scientific production in the region.




Executive Summary of the diagnostic

Download the full diagnostic

Between the pre-industrial era (1850-1890) and today, the global average temperature has increased by over 1°C. A number of impacts are expected in territories – increase in water stress, desertification, increasing scarcity of natural resources, soil erosion, etc. – and are barriers to the achievement of the 17 SDGs. The Paris Agreement (PA) lays the foundations essential to a global governance ensuring there is consistency between the international commitments and the public policies implemented at the national and local levels, via a common tool for the 180 party countries: the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which aims to reflect mitigation and adaptation commitments, at their highest level of ambition given the circumstances of each country.

This “dynamic” agreement is based on a transparency framework, whose modalities are still under discussion. The rules which will be defined in terms of the revision of the NDCs and the measurement, reporting and verification concerning the achievement of the commitments will be universally applicable with, however, flexibility for developing countries.

Africa is central to the challenges of climate change in this first half of the 21st century, both for the mitigation component, given its strong economic growth and demographic  growth, and in terms of adaptation, given the impacts of climate change, which can already be observed, but also the major challenges of development and the fight against poverty affecting a number of African countries.

However, African countries, and in particular the LDCs (11 out of the 17 countries targeted in the context of this diagnostic), remain insufficiently financed, equipped and supported to address the challenge and create an environment conducive to the implementation of the NDCs. Yet the 17 countries of the ECOWAS zone + CILSS (Benin,  Burkina  Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Togo, Senegal, Sierra Leone) have all made  commitments under their 1st NDC between 2015 and 2018, for a potential total of emission  reduction of some 900 MtCO2 by 2030. But this potential for reductions remains highly theoretical, as it is mainly conditional upon the inflow of international climate finance, which is still very limited, despite recent progress. In addition, several barriers related to the modalities for the management and monitoring-evaluation of commitments, the translation into public policies and sectoral regulations, access to appropriate techniques  and technologies, etc. hamper this implementation. But the situation is not homogeneous in the 17 countries and the existence of recognised “West African climate champions” can constitute both a strength and a potential threat to regional integration.

Furthermore, five of the ten most vulnerable countries in the world are among the  countries concerned by the GCCA+ West Africa programme and the future vulnerabilities  to the climate of West African communities will be different, as the climates are today in this vast West African territory. While this agroecological complementarity today constitutes an asset, the exacerbation of climate differences and the general deterioration of rainfall conditions call for regional cooperation frameworks to be strengthened.

The priority sectors for the NDCs in the region concern sectors in which regional institutions are already active (agriculture, land use, energy, water). Consequently, given their mandate for regional integration, ECOWAS and the partner regional institutions (CILSS, WAEMU) can naturally contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement via 5 types of action:

1. The pooling of efforts in order to create economies of scale, for example, on subjects  related to climate data acquisition, processing and analysis, but also in order to address “niche” issues which cannot be handled individually by each country (research, training);

2. The pooling of efforts in order to strengthen regional political leadership, in particular in the context of climate negotiations, but also for the mobilisation of financing;

3. The creation of platforms for regional exchanges of information and experience, with the aim of promoting regional solidarity;

4. The use of the community regulatory mechanism to suggest (guidelines) or impose (regulations) moves towards low-carbon and resilient development paths;

5. Specific interventions at national level in order to translate regional orientations into public policies and national regulations, at the request of Member States.