Businesses challenged to invest in R&D to combat climate change


Businesses in the country must invest more in Research and Development (R&D) to come out with solutions to combat climate change, the Secretary General of the Ghana International Chamber of Commerce, Emmanuel Doni-Kwame has said.

He stressed that businesses would suffer the most of the effects of climate change and should therefore lead the charge to combat climate change.

Mr Doni-Kwame made the call at a sensitisation workshop to create awareness of coping strategies for Small and Medium-Scale Enteprises (SMEs) on climate change.

The programme attended by SME operators in Accra was sponsored by the BUSAC fund.

Mr Doni-Kwame said businesses must come out with solutions through research to tackle climate change, saying, “It is businesses that create products and services which impact negatively on the environment.”

For instance, he said, since the weather was hot in recent times, a lot of Ghanaians were taking in more sachet water and this was creating business opportunities for people to produce more sachet water, which was polluting the environment.

He entreated SMEs to take advantage of climate change grants to seek funding to finance their research to come out with solutions to combat climate change.

Asked whether plastics should be banned as has been done in Rwanda, Mr Doni-Kwame responded in the affirmative, but said it should be a gradual and a medium to long-term exercise.

Touching on the workshop, he said, it was to educate players in the SME space about the climate change menace and its impact on businesses.

A representative of the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology and Innovation, Gyimah Mohammed in his presentation, said government was making progress in initiative programmes to combat climate change.

He said the country had developed its National Determined Contributions and subsequently a National Climate Change Policy.

Mr Mohammed said efforts were being made to pass the National Climate Change Policy into law so that people who flouted it could be prosecuted.

Mr Mohammed disclosed that Ghana would need about $22.6 billion in the next decade to invest in climate change mitigation and adaptation programmes, saying $6.3 billion would be mobilised from domestic sources and the remaining $16.3 billion would come from development partners.

He said government was discussing with the Swiss government for $20 million to finance some of the climate change mitigation and adaptation programmes.

The Managing Director of KF94 Engineering Company, Mr Kweku Eshun, who chaired the programme called for incentives for businesses and individuals who want to develop and adopt climate-smart technologies.

By Kingsley Asare

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