A FOURTEEN-MEMBER National Climate Change Committee (NCCC) was inaugurated in Accra yesterday to oversee the implementation of the National Climate Change Policy (NCCP).
The NCCC, with wide representation from the Ministries of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Power, Water Resources, Gender and Social Protection, Lands and Natural Resources, Food and Agriculture, Local Government and Rural Development, Health, Finance, and Department and Agencies and the Environmental Protection Agency, National Development Planning Commission and National Disaster Management Organisation, is chaired by Dr. Stephen Duah-Yentumi, a retired staff of one of the United Nations Agencies in Ghana.
Among the terms of reference of the NCCC, are to provide strategic guidance for the implementation of the NCCP and its strategy, create high level awareness on climate change, and also develop a framework for monitoring and evaluation of the NCCP to serve as a review mechanism for effective implementation to facilitate national development.
Besides, the committee is also charged with the responsibly to create a platform for all the actors to mobilise funding to support the implementation of the priorities of the NCCP.
Mahama Ayariga, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, who inaugurated the committee, entreated the citizens to be good stewards of the environment.
He said, the directive principles of the 1992 Constitution enjoined the citizens to protect and keep watch over the environment and preserve it for posterity.
He said climate change, which involved a change in the weather pattern over a long period of time, was impacting negatively on the environment.
Mr Ayariga, therefore, stressed the need for the country to reduce the reliance on firewood for cooking and explore alternative sources of energy, saying that would go a long way to combat climate change.
The minister entreated the Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) as well as the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) to incorporate climate change issues in their policies and also initiate programmes to combat the menace.
He said the programmes by the MDAs, and MMDAs would form the commitments President John Mahama would present at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change to be held in France in December.
Mr Ayariga said President Mahama would sign the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in September in France and the key of his address would be the efforts being made by Ghana to tackle climate change.
He said the government was committed to the fight against climate change and it was in that vein that the NCCP and its accompanying strategy had been developed to “provide detailed actions that should be implemented to protect the environment”.
Mr Ayariga said the NCCC had been constituted to help implement the NCCP and mobilise resources to support climate change programmes.
He pledged the ministry’s support to the committee and said his doors would always be opened to them.
The Chairman of the committee, Dr Duah-Yentumi, said the members of the committee were excited by the efforts being made by the ministry to make climate risk management an integral part of national development programmes.
He said the members of the committee would work hard to achieve the objectives set for them to justify the confidence reposed in them.