By Christel Odili
With the growing expectation of more rapid increases in global temperature and predictions of more frequent and severe extreme weather events,
The West African Civil Society Forum (WASCOF), has said there is an urgent need to engage the private sector in efforts to improve adaptation to climate change across West Africa.
The General Secretary, West African Civil Society Forum (WASCOF), Mr. Komlan Messie, made the call during a press conference in Abuja, he noted that the private sector is increasingly recognized as having important potential to help society adapt and become more resilient to climate change, stating that engaging the private sector in identifying climate change risks, response measures, and adaptation needs to be a much higher priority.
According to him successful private sector engagement in adaptation will catalyze greater investment in vulnerability reduction, stating that it will accelerate the replication of climate-resilient technologies and services in core development sectors, especially in developing countries where investment in long-lived infrastructure is growing rapidly.
Mr.Komlan noted that, the limited engament of the private sector is a major barrier to developing innovative and scalable adaptation solutions in West Africa. according to him, "the private sector holds a huge potential to leverage finacial resources, new technology and services for climate adaptation inititiaves in developing countries while still targetting the poorest households and respecting human rights".
"As important as it is for the private sector to become more engaged, in climate adaptation financing, it is important to state that the private sector investments will not tackle climate change adaptation alone. public policesencourages innovative partnerships and multi-stakeholder collaboratio as a vehincle for build climate resilience", he said.
He emphasized that governmment should improve and implement policy and regulatory frameworksthat encourage private sector investments in climate adaptation inventions. "The Private sector should contribute to the fulfilment of the paris aggreement and SDGs by taking up the responsibility given in the paris agreement and SDGs to deliver their part to assist vulnerable people to adapt to climate change.
The Gen. Sec urged Private sector companies to integrate adaptation into their strategies and investments for their economic interest, for their clients’ interest, and for the interests of their countries of operation.
"Stronger public-private partnerships will also be an important vehicle to enhance climate resilience and at the same time create business opportunities. Private firms will develop many of the products and services that will enable lower costs and more effective responses to climate change and can be the basis for growing, profitable businesses".
Mr. Komlan further called on CSOs to engage and develop joint partnership with the government and the private sector to scale up affordable adaptation solutions and access funds from the Green Climate Fund and other partners for poor adaptation interventions