President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has reiterated the commitment of his government to integrate climate action into Ghana’s national development agenda.
He said government had taken the policy decision to implement Co-ordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies from 2017- 2022.
Speaking at the R20 Austrian World Summit on Climate Change, on Tuesday, the President revealed that, local assemblies in Ghana had been mandated to address climate change issues in their medium-term development plans.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goal 13, which demanded urgent action to combat climate change and its impact, was providing the framework for Ghana to forge ahead in this direction.
Since assuming office in January 2017, Nana Akufo-Addo, told the gathering that a decision was taken to clamp down on illegal mining activities that continued to destroy the nation’s forests and water bodies.
He noted that a ban had also been imposed on the harvesting of rosewood timber as one of the measures to protect Ghana’s forests and endangered species.
The President noted that more than 20,000 youth had been employed to plant 10 million trees across the country through the “Youth in Afforestation” programme, as a way of increasing carbon sinks in the country.
Towards realising Ghana’s international obligations under SDG 7, which relates to access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy, as well as SDG 13, President Akufo-Addo reiterated Ghana’s commitment of promoting the deployment of renewable energy, in line with government’s policy target of 10 per cent renewables in the energy mix from the current one per cent.
To this end, he announced that the Jubilee House, the seat of government, would be powered by solar energy in the course of the year as an example to other public institutions.
He said the target was to install 200 megawatts of distributed solar power by 2030, in both residential and non-residential facilities, and in state agencies.
President Akufo-Addo said he had fruitful discussions with a select group of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) from the private sector to push forward Ghana’s “Green Agenda”, in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and the establishment of a Green Fund, to be financed by the private sector.
President Akufo-Addo stressed that “what we do in Ghana affects the people of Nepal, or Mozambique or Austria. That is why we need concerted global action to tackle this menace. Success in addressing climate change will be one of the greatest legacies that our generation can give to the next.”
President Akufo-Addo, on the sidelines of the summit, held bilateral discussions with János Áder, the President of Hungary.
The Hungarian President expressed his appreciation to his Ghanaian counterpart for the invitation to pay an official visit to Ghana in January 2020, and reaffirmed his commitment to deepening the relations between Ghana and Hungary.
On his part, President Akufo-Addo thanked the Hungarian leader for re-opening the Embassy of Hungary in Accra, which, he explained, presents an opportunity to scale up the relations between the two countries.
He said he looked forward to the visit to Ghana by President János Áder, adding that considerable opportunities existed in Ghana for Hungarian businesses to take advantage of.
President Akufo-Addo also met with Kristalina Ivanova Georgieva-Kinova, a Bulgarian economic analyst, currently serving as Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank.
Describing Ghana as “a success story”, the World Bank CEO noted that, with $1.6 billion worth of investments in Ghana, the World Bank will continue to work with Ghana, and help develop the country’s capabilities in the areas of energy, human capital development, and the economy.
President Akufo-Addo, on his part, reiterated his Government’s determination to maintain fiscal discipline, prudent management of the economy to realise the vision of moving Ghana beyond aid.
BY TIMES REPORTER