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Africa Climate Change Week kicks off in Accra

About 1,000 experts and players in climate change from across the world have converged in Accra, to take stock of  and step up efforts put in place to mitigate climate change impact on the continent in the next decade.

Participants of the Africa Climate Week (ACW 2019), includes government officials, policy makers, investors and representatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the World Bank.

 Under the theme “Climate Change action in Africa: A race we can win,” the event  organised by UNFCCC, would create the platform to discuss how to advance national climate action plans, also known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change and Sustainable Development Goal 13 on climate action, among other goals.

Ahead of the official opening on Wednesday, Ghana’s NDC Investment Forum , a key aspect of the  ACW19, opened yesterday to  discuss how to crowd in private sector investment for climate projects in Ghana that are financially viable, and to present potential projects to deliver the climate solutions that Ghana pledged in their NDCs.

Ghana is expected to raise $22.6 billion investments; $16.3 billion from domestic and $6.3 billion international public and private source to implement her 31 NDCs from 2020 to 2030.

Speaking at the event, the Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ms Patricia Appiagyei espoused how Climate Change was endangering the livelihood of nearly half the world’s population especially in coastal cities.

 Accra, for instance,  she said was  faced with inundation from rising sea levels, causing  billion dollars weather-related calamities and destroying vital ecosystems such as forestry and coral reefs. 

To address the climate change impacts, she said a Nationally Determined Implementation and Investment Plan had been developed in line with Ghana’s NDCs in the Paris Agreement.

She said the plan provided a framework for translating the emission reduction commitments in the NDCs into a road-map to help Ghana attain low carbon climate resilience through effective adaptation and greenhouse gas emission reduction.  

However, Ms Appiagyei said funding had been a challenge and therefore called for a review of how adequate international financing would be made available to countries like Ghana to complement their climate change mitigation efforts.

“It is the only surest way to fully implement the priority actions outlined in the nationally determined contributions. Without the requisite investments, the ambitious nationally determined contributions target cannot be achieved,” She said.

Mr John Pwamang, Acting Executive Director of the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) said Ghana had begun efforts and so far, investment made in climate change has reduced greenhouse gas emissions of two million tonnes per year since 2011 as against the target of 2.2 million tonnes per annum.

He said $13.2 billion had been invested in the expansion of the production and utilisation of natural gas, tree planting, provision of clean stoves, and installation of renewable energy,amongst others.

 He rallied investors to explore potential investment opportunities in the country and soar up investment and help her advance the climate change agenda.

Gita Honwana Welch, Resident Representative of UNDP said studies had shown that bold climate change action could trigger $26trillion in economic benefits by 2030 and create more than 65million new jobs.

To unlock these benefits and reduce the impact of climate change, she said there was the need for strong political will, deepened commitment and consideration of climate change in the budget and plans of ministries.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

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