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Sunday, October 2, 2022

Ghana must push for Climate Justice at COP26- Kofi Domfeh

A climate leader and founder of CLAP Ghana Mr Kofi Adu Domfeh is urging the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to demand climate justice at the Conference of the Parties (COP26) if Ghana envisions building climate adaptation as global warming begins to hit Africa.

Nana Akufo-Addo, on Sunday, 31st October 2021, left Ghana to lead the country’s delegation to the World Leaders’ Summit of the United Nations (UN). The 26th edition is being held from 31st October to 3rd November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.

The COP26 Summit will be one of the largest gatherings of world leaders. It will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Nana Akufo-Addo will deliver a statement on Ghana’s position on Climate Change, as well as measures put in place to combat the threat it poses. He will also deliver three (3) separate statements on efforts Ghana is making to protect her forests and ocean, and participate in the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Summit, being held on the sidelines of COP 26.

But even before he delivers any of his speeches at the summit, Mr Domfeh in an exclusive interview with ZAMI Reports said “countries like Ghana cannot relent in shouting climate justice, in demanding financial deliverables to build resilience against climate change.”

Mr Kofi Adu Domfeh is a climate change leader and founder of CLAP Ghana. Image courtesy Mr Domfeh. 

“Ghana, like most other developing countries, remain most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Our economies contribute least to the global carbon emissions yet are at the receiving end of global warming. As a signatory to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Ghana is concerned about climate mitigation, but the sustainability of the local economy rests on the country’s climate adaptation mechanisms,” he stressed.

Global warming is the long-term heating of Earth’s climate system observed since the pre-industrial period (between 1850 and 1900) due to human activities, primarily fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere. It is most commonly measured as the average increase in Earth’s global surface temperature.

Since the pre-industrial period, human activities are estimated to have increased Earth’s global average temperature by about 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit), a number that is currently increasing by 0.2 degrees Celsius (0.36 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade. It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean, and land.

Global warming happens because the atmosphere traps heat radiating from the world and stops it from escaping into space. Certain gases in the atmosphere, called greenhouse gases, block the heat from escaping. One of the biggest problems is carbon dioxide (CO2).

Ghana’s recent data on carbon dioxide (CO2) – fossil emission is dated 2016 and stood 14,469,986 tons. CO2 emissions increased by 3.54% over the previous year representing an increase of 495,166 tons over 2015 when CO2 emissions were 13,974,820 tons. CO2 emissions per capita in Ghana are equivalent to 0.51 tons per person (based on a population of 28,481,945 in 2016), an increase by 0.01 over the figure of 0.50 CO2 tons per person registered in 2015; this represents a change of 1.2% in CO2 emissions per capita.

But globally, the figures stood at 35,753,305,000 tons, Change +0.34%, Per capita 4.79 tons in the same year, according to worldometers.info.

According to the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, the country by September 2020, had approved 54.5million from its Green Climate Fund (GCF) to help communities in northern Ghana adapt to climate change as required by signatories to the Paris Agreement. These funds have witnessed the installation of solar power in communities in some districts in northern Ghana among other projects.

But Ghana needs $22.6 billion in investments to finance its climate mitigation and adaptation actions between 2020 and 2030 according to its Nationally Determined Contribution to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Twelve years ago, at a United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen, rich nations made a significant pledge. They promised to channel US$100 billion a year to less wealthy nations by 2020, to help them adapt to climate change and mitigate further temperature rises.

That promise was broken. Figures for 2020 are not yet in, and those who negotiated the pledge don’t agree on accounting methods, but a report last year for the UN concluded that “the only realistic scenarios” showed the $100-billion target was out of reach. “We are not there yet,” conceded UN secretary-general António Guterres.

It is against this that Mr Domfeh is urging members of the African Union to demand in unison that the $100billion promise made by the world’s giant “polluters” be met.

“Ghana’s 10-year post-2020 enhanced climate action plan will only be meaningful when the world delivers on the $100billion promise to fight climate change,” Domfeh insists.

“African governments, civil society and other non-state actors must go into the conference with one unified voice to prevail among polluter countries to deliver on commitments to climate action. Time has already run out in taking climate action as the impacts are already here,” he added.

Protecting Forests and Oceans

In June this year, under the auspices of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the entire country, through the Green Ghana Project, planted some seven million seedlings of different tree spices as part of efforts by the government to restore the country’s lost forest cover. This was above the five million targeted. Ghana aims to plant a minimum of twenty million trees in 2022.

Again, Ghanan aims to reduce emissions by some ten million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in the cocoa-forest landscape, through the implementation of the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme, one of five ecological landscape-tailored programmes in Ghana’s REDD+ Strategy. Through the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions in the forestry sector, Ghana is committed to supporting the global target of halving emissions by 2030 and attaining neutrality by 2050.

Oceans.

Reiterating Ghana’s commitment to managing sustainably her ocean, as the historic Transformation Document that was launched in December last year enjoins the country to do, the President added that the country is putting in place the requisite structures and processes to finalise her Sustainable Ocean Plan by 2025.

The country is faced with pressing threats in marine security due to the prevalence of piracy and armed robbery on its seas, the mounting menace of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing (IUU), overfishing and its attendant decline in fish stocks, and plastic pollution.

But Ghana is racing to deal with these challenges by partnering with the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and Law of the Sea to conduct an Ocean Governance Study to strengthen its legal and institutional framework for ocean management according to the Ministry of Fishery and Aquaculture.

Ghana has also implemented a closed season for artisanal and industrial finishing as part of the measures to reduce the excessive pressure, over-exploitation, and to replenish Ghana’s falling marine fish stocks.

By: Zubaida Mabuno Ismail |www.zamireports.com| Ghana.

 

 

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