East African Community launches €1.6 million climate change programme

The intra-Global Climate Alliance Plus (GCCA+) Programme on supporting Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Actions in the East African Community has been launched at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The European Union (EU) is providing funding to the tune of 1.6 million Euros for the four-year project which commenced in July 2019 and runs up to June 2023.

The project which was launched by the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the EU will, among other things: support EAC Partner States in addressing different climate change challenges; reviewing and updating their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for the effective implementation, and; developing community based climate change initiatives that will have tangible impacts on local communities.

In his opening remarks, the Chairperson of the Meeting, Eng. John B. Kizito, on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Rwanda thanked the EU for its support in enhancing the capacity of the EAC region on climate change, strengthening the implementation of climate change actions, the Paris Agreement and regional capacity to access climate change funding.

Eng. Kizito cited some of the challenges posed by climate change in the region and echoed the need to take concerted measures in strengthening resilience while adopting low carbon and sustainable development pathways.

The EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Christophe Bazivamo, who represented the Secretary General, reiterated the EAC’s commitment to mitigate the impacts of climate change, adding that the Community had developed EAC Climate Change Master Plan (2011-2031), which is due for review.

Mr. Massimo Bonannini, the Programme Manager at the EU Delegation Office in Dar es Salaam, expressed concern that financial resources allocated to climate change actions were not enough and the NDCs which are the core of the Paris Agreement, altogether do not meet the expected targets.

Mr. Bonannini said that the EU would give more emphasis to climate change, adding that in the period 2021-2027, some 25% of the budget will be linked to climate change actions.He said that the EU was ready to increase its future engagement in order to support developing countries in their actions to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change.

He disclosed that the EU considers technical and political dialogues at national and regional levels as crucial to pursue relevant adaptation and mitigation strategies.

He said that the GCCA+ was one of the instruments that that the EU was implementing to help climate change mitigation actions in developing countries, adding that since 2008, GCCA+ had supported some 80 projects with a total allocation of more than 800 million Euros.

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