Amidst the challenges associated with virtual participation, the West African Alliance on Carbon Market and Climate Finance (WAA) provided technical support in order to facilitate the participation of the Alliance focal points to the informal and formal bilateral talks at the SBSTA 52. Through informed briefings and knowledge support, the heads of thematic groups of the AGN group now have a well-informed position and are better prepared for the upcoming CoP 26. This is a departure from previous CoPs (24 and 25) where West African delegates lacked the clarity and understanding of the principles of Article 6.
This year’s SBs 52 discussions were largely centered around sub-items 6.2, 6.4 and 6.8 of the Article 6. This was due to the controversial nature of some elements of Article 6, like the mandatory/voluntary and provision of finance for adaptation (share of proceeds), CDM transitioning as well as the operationalization of OMGE. However, with the knowledge provided by the Alliance, the heads of thematic groups of the AGN were able to share understanding and arrive at a common position on these issues.
Realizing the value of preparatory capacity workshops, which was evident in the just concluded SBs 52; the Alliance hopes to continue to provide series of preparatory technical workshops to heads of delegation ahead of future UNFCCC CoP preparatory sessions. These preparatory technical workshops had positive impacts on the quality of the arguments and contributions it facilitated consensus among thematic heads on knotty issues. Besides being familiarized with the position of the AGN and the rationale behind each Article 6 sub-issue, the heads of delegation were also able to develop and elaborate a briefing paper intended to guide further pre-COP discussions.
The certainty that West Africa’s position on Article 6 will be clearly articulated at this year’s CoP 26 is high and can be positively attributed to the broad knowledge support provided by the Alliance. Some of these support measures included virtual briefings jointly organized by the East and West African Alliances and the setting up of other instant communication channels like WhatsApp (SB 52 WhatsApp group). The flow of information has increased, and members now have better experiences with exchanging views and sharing information. The Alliance is also promoting the use of specialized platforms where only the Alliance LDCs members can participate in order to enhance strategic talks bothering on the divergent positions between the AGN and LDCs groups.