$22.6bn needed to fight climate change

Ghana will need $22.6 billion in the next decade, to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Peter Dery, Deputy Director at the Climate Change Desk, Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), has said.

He has, therefore, appealed to the international donors, development partners and the private sector to support the government to raise the amount to implement mitigation and adaptation programmes to combat climate change in Ghana.

Speaking in an interview with The Ghanaian Times on the sidelines of a dialogue with the political parties in the country and the Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment, Mr Dery said Ghana would have to start implementing the programmes in the Paris Agreement from 2020 to 2030.

The Paris Agreement, which was ratified by Parliament in August this year, is Ghana’s intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), presented to the Climate Change Conference held in Paris last year, and outlines programmes the country intends to roll out to tackle climate change.

Among other things, Ghana had pledged to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide which pollutes the environment, by 45 per cent in the next 10 years.

The objective of the dialogue, organised by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with support from the French Embassy in Accra, was to educate the political parties and encourage them to incorporate climate change issues in their manifestos.

It was on the theme, ‘Integrating climate change issues in campaign manifestoes’.

Mr Dery said since the Paris Agreement had been passed into law, it was incumbent on the country to implement the agreement, and it had to start action on the preparatory phase before 2020.

He indicated that the government could provide only $1.4 billion out of the $22.6 billion, and had to rely on donors to raise the amount.

Among the mitigation and adaptation measures covering energy, transport, agriculture, waste, and industry, which government had planned to implement, Mr. Dery mentioned the promotion of clean rural household lighting, sustainable utilisation of forest resources, and integrated water resources management.

The Acting Executive Director of EPA, John A. Pwamang, in a speech read on his behalf, said the country was already experiencing the effects of climate change.

He defined climate change as “the change in the weather pattern in a particular area over long period of time”, and stressed that changes in rainfall patterns and increasing of temperatures, floods and drought across the country were signs of climate change.

Mr Pwamang disclosed that a national climate change action plan had been developed and outlined 20 mitigation and 11 adaptation actions in seven priority areas such as agriculture, energy, water and transport, adding that a national climate change policy had been developed and the MESTI had also approved a climate change master plan.

The chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment, Edem Asima, in his remark,  described the dialogue as an “important programme,” since it offered opportunity to the political parties to be educated on the climate change agreement the  country had signed.

He said climate change was an important subject and any political party worth its sort should make room for environmental issues in their manifestos and lauded the EPA and MESTI for the programme.

The representatives of the political parties in their remarks expressed concern about the timing of the programme and said it was belated, stressing that they had completed their manifestos and it would be difficult to incorporate the issues into them.

By Kingsley Asare







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