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It’s time to take concrete actions on climate change - Special Envoy

PThe United Nation (UN) Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action Summit says it is time for the world to cut the speeches and take concrete actions to address climate change.

Mr Luis Alfonso De Alba said focus should now be on the identification of necessary resources for specific and tangible projects, to give impetus to the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change and other documents birthed by years of negotiations.

“It is about time that, we concentrated on action not negotiation. Action on the ground. It is no longer a time for speeches or declarations. It is time for action,” he said during a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng in Accra last Thursday.

The meeting, held alongside the Africa Climate Week (ACW) 2019, was to enable the special envoy to interact with the minister ahead of the Climate Change Summit slated for September this year, to which the ACW was a forerunner.

Mr De Alba said by September, there should be a list of transformative and concrete actions that will suit different countries and regions and hoped that the UN could count on Ghana to propel climate change action agenda.

He said the UN Secretary General was concerned about efforts to address climate change, and had observed that, the level of enthusiasm needed to be whipped up to match up the increasing impact of the phenomenon.

Noting that Africa suffered the most from climate change, although it contributed less to it, he said the continent should not repeat the mistakes of the developed countries that triggered the change.

According to the envoy, it was feasible for Africa to industrialise and facilitate its development and at the same time fight climate change through the use of environmentally friendly options such as renewable energy.

However, Mr De Alba said this would require a combined effort of all, particularly the contribution of the private sector through the sharing of ideas, technology and financial resources.

He said UN stood ready to facilitate the needed collaboration to help institute mitigation and adaptive measures, and called on all countries to take keen interest to the September summit.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, on his part, said government had moved beyond speeches and was pursuing climate change interventions by imbedding the interventions into the national development agenda.

He listed some of the actions as: plan to fuel public transport systems with compressed natural gas and introduction of electric buses; construction of dams in some districts to support farming during dry season; and the renewable energy generation.

He said renewable energy capacity had been increased to 54.7 megawatts from 2.7 megawatts in 2013.

With the country’s population, energy consumption for domestic and industrial needs increasing, he said the country needed help to increase renewable energy generation to meet demand and keep the reduction of greenhouse gases on course.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, therefore, appealed to the international community for ideas and technical support to soar up renewable energy generation.


BY JONATHAN DONKOR

Pix: Cut Speeches 1/Ayoo/22/03/19

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