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close this bookThe Global Greenhouse Regime. Who Pays? (UNU, 1993, 382 p.)
close this folderPart III National greenhouse gas reduction cost curves
close this folder9 Carbon abatement potential in West Africa
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentLong-term energy and carbon emissions scenarios
View the documentOptions for rational energy use and carbon conservation
View the documentEconomic opportunities for implementation
View the documentPolicy issues for the region
View the documentConclusions
View the documentReferences

Policy issues for the region

Policies to foster the energy and carbon conservation potential of the region fall into two categories: regional and national.

Regional policies

The region can only fully benefit from the highly competitive external funds if regional mechanisms are created to analyse and develop well-articulated projects. Such options include: strengthening existing institutions such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); creating linkages between national organizations; and developing nodes of analytical skills. The Climate Change Convention recommends that all these steps be taken. The commitments contained in the convention to promote technology transfer, education, and training, etc. can only be realized in West Africa if there is a strong regional framework. The increasing difficulties of donors in meeting aid commitments and competition between recipients imply that a minimum technological capability must be established in the region if it is to tap the climate change related aid programmes. The operation of the Global Environment Facility has already demonstrated the need for such a regional structure. Fragmented regions will be disadvantaged in global fore.

Table 9.6 Cost assessment of carbon abatement options

  Savings potential Ranking Cost
Energy Carbon
Improved stoves and kilos High Low Negative Low
Efficient electric lights and appliances Medium High Middle Medium
Fuel substitution (LPG and kerosene) Low Low Positive High
Fuel substitution (ethanol) Low High Positive High
Traffic management Medium High Middle Low
Improved maintenance Low Medium Middle Medium
Urban transport High High Positive High
Housekeeping measures Medium Medium Negative Low
Standards Medium Medium Negative Low
New technology High High Positive High
T&D losses Medium Medium Negative Low
Increased supply High High Positive High

Rankings refer to the possible point in a cost-emission reduction curve.

National policies

At a national level, specific areas that require policy attention are: fuel pricing for all fuels; an R&D structure with strong links to policy-makers, industries and end-users; the promotion of education and awareness on energy and environmental issues; the development of improved information systems; and the establishment of enforceable and feasible standards.

Governments must also create an environment conducive to the full participation of the private sector, while regulating its activities. Financial mechanisms such as loan guarantees, insurance schemes, and fiscal incentives should be explored also to encourage private sector involvement. An overriding task is to establish an appropriate mechanism to ensure that governmental decisions and goals on energy development and climate change are spelled out clearly and remain flexible in the face of rapidly changing global events.