Stakeholders approve Ghana’s proposals for climate change

Vice President, Amissah-Arthur

Vice President, Amissah-Arthur

THE country’s Economic Management Team, Members of Parliament (MPs) and other key stakeholders have approved Ghana’s climate change proposal to be presented by President John Mahama at the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference, slated for December, in Paris, France.

The Economic Management Team, MPs and the stakeholders, such as the GIZ and the UN Country Office who agreed on the proposal, dubbed ‘the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) at a high-level consultation meeting here at the weekend, described it   as a “well-informed,” “comprehensive,” and “Economically and politically feasible” document to adequately tackle climate change.

The INDC, which contains   Ghana’s commitments and programmes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and combat climate change, would soon be submitted to the President for his perusal and Cabinet approval.

Among others, the INDC, which Ghana is mandated to submit to the UN by the end of September, sets out strategies to reduce carbon emissions, pursue climate change resilient as well as incorporate climate change issues in all development programmes.

About 196-member countries of the UN which are signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the Climate Change Conference at Lima in Peru, in 2012 decided to come out with a legally binding international agreement to reduce greenhouse emissions and consequently, they were tasked to develop their country’s specific programmes to combat climate change and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

Opening the meeting, the Vice President, Amissah-Arthur, in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mrs Mornah Quartey, said the threat of climate change was all-encompassing destroying livelihood and costing lives saying, “it affects every country, every community and very citizen”.

Climate change, he said, was a threat to the world’s food and fresh water supply due to the dwindling nature of water resources and loss of the fertility of soil and cited the June 3   fire and flood disaster at Kwame Nkrumah Circle which claimed about 150 lives as a classic example of the looming danger of climate change and should serve as a wake-up call to all that “the effects of climate change are real and big threat to our human existence”.

He pledged his government’s resolve to commit resources and initiate programmes to tackle climate change saying “Ghana has demonstrated her commitment to contributing to finding global solutions to the myriad of problems related to climate change through our strategic efforts towards multilateralism, regional corporation and partnership”.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur entreated the participants to critically examine the proposal in the INDCs and its socio-economic implications on the country and ensure that the goals set in the document were practical and attainable.

The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Mahama Ayariga, who chaired the programme, said the INDCs   served as a national blueprint not only for defining Ghana’s new low carbon, climate change resilient society, but also demonstrate Ghana’s commitment to reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

“The INDCs offer us as developing countries a number of opportunities with respect to additional financing, leap-frogging of technology and regional integration and should be seen as a vehicle for achieving sustainable development,” he said.

The UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Christine Evans-Klock, in her remark, commended Ghana for drafting an elaborate and practical proposal to address climate change, noting, “Ghana’s draft proposal was hailed and praised by the UN experts on climate change and review team in the US, which went through the document.”

Siegfried Leffler, the Country Director of GIZ, whose outfit sponsored the programme, said the INDC would form a key input to the negotiations leading to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

From Times Reporter, Senchi

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