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ECOWAS Status Report

| 26 Within ECOWAS, it is estimated that more than 257.8 million people (nearly three-fourths of the region’s population) are affected by household air pollution from indoor smoke, small particle pollution, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides, predominantly as a result of cooking and heating with solid fuels.53 This results in the deaths of an estimated 173,396 people each year, roughly half of them children.54 (See Figure 7.) Collecting fuel wood and traditional biomass also exposes women—mostly in rural areas—to risks of injury, rape, and harassment.55 In the Gambia, respondents in a household energy survey noted additional problems related to inefficient stoves, including heavy smoke and emissions, the expense of fuel wood and charcoal, frequent equipment breakdown, considerable time spent collecting fuel wood, and the scarcity of fuel wood in certain areas.56 (See Chapter 2 for further discussion of the distribution of cooking fuels within individual ECOWAS Member States.) Member States that extract fossil fuels have experienced severely negative impacts on the environment. In the Niger Delta, aged and damaged infrastructure, as well as natural gas flaring, results in damage to air, soil, and water, reduces arable land and diminishes vital fish stocks.57 The urgent need to expand energy access and secure a reliable, affordable energy supply is compounded by climate change, which has and will continue to have significant impacts across the energy sector. Although the region’s contribution to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions is very small (9.8% of territorial emissions in Africa and less than half of 1% of the global total in 2012), climate change’s projected impacts in the region are significant.58 In the energy sector, these include changing demand profiles in response to rising temperatures, shifting land use and productivity, as well as changes to hydropower capacity and the efficiency of thermal facilities.59 If climate change leads to increasingly variable rainfall in West Africa, dependence on hydropower, which requires reliable water supply, could become more costly and less secure.60 The combined effects of a changing climate and deforestation are alreadyreducingavailablebiomassinmanyECOWASMemberStates, creating challenges for those dependent on fuel wood and other resources for their energy needs. Although the impacts of climate change on hydropower will vary significantly and are difficult to project, it is clear that they will affect generation potential in some parts of the ECOWAS region.61 Investment in energy infrastructure will have to consider climate resilience in the context of projected impacts and community needs. The full impact and severity of these changes on ECOWAS communities and populations depends on many inter-related and multi-dimensional factors. In its Fifth Assessment Report, released in 2014, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes clear that climate vulnerability is a complex and multi- dimensionalconcept—closelyintertwinedwithnon-climatestressors including structural poverty and inequality—and is therefore often particularly severe in low-income economies.62 In the ECOWAS region, populations without the means to access alternative energy supply options or to relocate to areas where energy services are available will face particular challenges. Given the long-term nature of energy investments, it will be important to assess likely climate change impacts on existing energy infrastructure within the region, to evaluate the viability of future investments, and to identify potential adaptation strategies for populations most at risk. PLATFORMS FOR REGIONAL ENERGY COOPERATION Since the 1990s, ECOWAS has engaged in numerous efforts to address these inter-related challenges, modernise the region’s approach to energy development, and facilitate energy cooperation throughout West Africa. (See Figure 8.) The West African Power Pool (WAPP), created by ECOWAS in 1999, works to integrate national power systems into a unified electricity market, ensuring stable, reliable, and affordable electricity supplies by supporting generation, transmission, and power trade among Member States.63 The WAPP Master Plan for the Generation and Transmission of Electrical Energy (ECOWAS Master Plan) developed in 2004 and revised and adopted in 2011, aims to articulate an optimal plan for regional generation and transmission of electricity, and proposes a list of regional priority projects and an inter-connected regional network enabling power exchange among all Member States by 2018. Implementation of the Plan’s priority projects would be expected to increase the share of renewable generation capacity from 27% in 2011 to 36% (mostly large hydropower) by 2025.64 The ECOWAS Energy Protocol, modelled after the European Energy Charter Treaty and signed by the region’s Heads of States and Governments in 2003, establishes a framework to promote energy cooperation—aiming ultimately to increase investment and trade in the region’s energy sector. Among other things, the Protocol ensures open and non-discriminatory access to power generation and transmission facilities while respecting national sovereignty, ensures freedom of transit, encourages open access to capital markets, and requires that Member States strive to minimise environmental impacts in an economically efficient manner.65 In 2006, ECOWAS and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) published the White Paper for a Regional Policy, which examined energy access in the context of the Millennium Development Goals and established three energy sector targets to be achieved by 2015: 1) 100% access to modern cooking fuels; 2) at least 60% access to productive energy services in rural villages; and 3) two-thirds of the population with access to an individual electricity supply. Infrastructure developments have also facilitated regional integration. The West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) has a mandate to supply natural gas from Nigeria to neighbouring Benin, Togo,

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