• Think News Online

“The Need To Address Climate Change Is A Global One” – Dr. Kweku Afriyie (VIDEO+PICS)

The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), Dr. Kweku Afriyie has revealed that the need to address climate change is a global one despite it being an all-encompassing threat that is happening now, destroying livelihoods and costing lives.

According to Dr. Afriyie, though Ghana is a small emitter of Green House Gases over the years, it is joining forces to together combat climate change and contribute to addressing the multitude of problems that comes with it.

Speaking at a COP 26 press briefing in Accra on Thursday, the sector Minister said “Climate change currently is threatening the world’s poor on a huge scale. The most vulnerable will face water shortages. Changes to agricultural cycles will threaten food security across entire regions. Rising sea levels will displace communities in both rural and heavily urbanized environments”

The Minister also mentioned that some efforts made by Ghana include the development and implementation of relevant national climate change policies and the signing of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Climate Agreement.

Dr. Afriyie disclosed that Ghana in September 2016 submitted its Nationally Determined Contributions to the PA, involving thirty-one adaptation and mitigations actions to cover seven economic sectors.

“The updated Nationally Determined Contribution cover 19 policy areas and translates into 47 mitigation and adaptation programs of action. There are 34 mitigation programs of action which are envisaged to generate absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions of 64 MtCO2e from 2021 to 2030”

The Sector Minister told Journalists that Ghana requires between US$9.3 and US$15.5Billion of investments to implement the 47 nationally determined contribution measures from 2020 to 2030.

He stressed that US$3.9Billion would be required to implement the 16 unconditional programs of action till 2030.

“Ghana has submitted an interim nationally determined contribution to the UNFCCC while awaiting the updated NDC to undergo high-level political consideration and approval processes”

The Sector Minister noted that as the United Kingdom (UK) hosts COP26 in Glasgow from 1-12 November 2021, it will afford Ghana, the opportunity to contribute to global discussions on climate change, showcase national efforts at mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change.

He hinted that Ghana’s delegation will be led by President Akufo-Addo.

Dr. Afriyie told Journalists that Ghana will be expecting the rule book on Article 6 will be concluded to enable the country to attract investments through the carbon markets.

“The Ministry of Energy, Transport, Food and Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, Forestry Commission, Energy Commission, British High Commission, UNICEF, and UNDP have ensured that Ghana has procured a pavilion and office space” he revealed.

On her part, the Charge d’affaires for the British High Commission to Ghana, Beth Cadman said “We are proud hosts of COP26, in partnership with Italy, the largest diplomatic gathering on UK soil”

She revealed that the event is expecting over 30,000 delegates to visit Glasgow adding that its Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has even described it as a turning point for mankind.

She noted that the UK has just announced its Net Zero Strategy, setting out how it will reach zero emissions by 2050.

“We are sure those objectives will also resonate in Ghana - and it hopes that Ghana will be able to develop similar plans in the future”

She again noted that the UK is playing its part to ensure that rich countries provide the finance that develop countries need to adapt to climate change.

Madam Cadman praised Ghana for prioritizing its needs at the COP adding that the country’s voice is vital to spurring action.

“The UK established a record for climate reduction commitments in June 2021, bypassing into law a commitment to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035.

“This shows that the UK is willing to do what is needed to limit the world to 1.5 degrees of warming. It has helped to generate momentum, such as the recent commitment of China to halt overseas coal financing and in September, Turkey announced it will ratify the 2015 Parish Agreement”

She, further, mentioned that the UK is very happy to have had such a positive relationship with Ghana in the run-up to COP26.

She noted that COP26 is critical for Ghana adding that the country is under real and present threat from climate change.

The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dr. Henry Kwabena Kokofu expressed his outfit’s willingness to continue to provide technical leadership on climate change in Ghana.

He added that the EPA will avail itself to supporting the COP26 preparation process and beyond.

“Note that climate change is one of the defining development issues of all time and is another pandemic in awaiting if the international community fail to act fast with ambition”

He told Journalists that it is time the international community puts its best foot forward to make climate change count adding that COP26 is a fine opportunity to deliver hope.

Dr. Kokofu noted that the EPA has been instrumental in preparing the Ghana team ahead of COP26 which led to a pre-COP meeting on Tuesday, October 20, 2021, in Accra.

The Executive Director urged the media to be part of the COP26.

“Further indicate some of the topics such as; keeping the 1.5-degree goal in reach (raising climate ambition and action), scaling adaption actions, mobilizing finance for climate action and finalizing Paris Agreement rule book” he concluded.

Below is a video and pictures:

Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith