Greta Thunberg comes up at the mention of global climate change activists for her ability to trigger climate change protests worldwide. The young Swedish has demanded accountability from the world’s giant emitters like the China, the United States of America, Germany, France, and Russia.
In Africa, Nyombi Morris, a young Ugandan is making waves with her activism on the African Continent and has been recognised
China was the biggest emitter of fossil fuel carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2020, accounting for 30.64 per cent of global emissions. The world’s top five largest polluters were responsible for roughly 60 per cent of global CO2 emissions in 2020.
Although China currently emits the highest levels of CO2 annually, it has emitted far less than the United States over the past three centuries. Since 1750, the United States has produced more than 400 billion metric tons of cumulative carbon dioxide emissions. Since the birth of the Industrial Revolution, global CO2 emissions have increased dramatically and reached a record high in 2019.
But while Ghana might not have a youth activist, the country’s Minister for Lands and Natural Resources believes the youth have a critical role to play in supporting the efforts by the State in combating the menace.
The West African country made a great leap by signing the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance (LEAF) at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, together with 4 other countries.
The LEAF Coalition’s goal is to halt deforestation by financing large scale tropical forest protection. LEAF Coalition transactions are conditioned on the ability of a jurisdiction to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of v2.0 (or other applicable versions) of The REDD+ Environmental Excellence Standard (TREES) developed by ART and the terms of the Call for Proposal issued on April 22, 2021.
As Ghana targets to plant some twenty million tree seedlings a day in June, there’s the need to mobilize her youth. Their contributions according to Mr Jinapor are key at a time when nations are collectively working to find responsive solutions to climate change.
He was speaking at the Young Professionals and Youth Coalitions on Climate Change Summit held in Accra. The maiden edition was on the theme “Confronting Our Individual and Collective Roles in Addressing the Climate Change Crisis.”
“We cannot eradicate poverty, we cannot eliminate hunger, we cannot generate good health and well-being, we cannot build sustainable cities, and communities, we cannot protect life below water, we, certainly cannot protect life on land if we don’t tackle climate change,” he emphasized.
The sector Minister urged stakeholders to respond to climate change with a sense of urgency and in ways that strengthen the resilience of respective ecosystems by adopting innovative solutions.
“Our response must involve both individual and collective actions, and must be embraced by the youth, civil society organizations, political and Traditional leaders, local governments, and public and private sector actors.”
Ghana has also committed to the Joint Framework of Action (JFA), with the Government of Cote D’Ivoire, and thirty-six cocoa and chocolate producing companies to halt deforestation and forest degradation, Mr Jinapor revealed at the summit.
“We are implementing the Forest Investment Program (FIP) to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in the high forest and traditional zones, to enhance carbon stocks and improve the livelihoods of rural communities,” he revealed.
Mr Jinapor described the consciousness of youth as “at an all-time high” while commending the organizers of the summit.
“We must build on what we know and develop the right tools and technologies to effectively communicate with our farmers, and deliver a low-carbon growth” he maintained.
“We are not hopeless, we are full of ideas and positive energies that we can unleash to arrest these threats to address the effects of climate change in our communities, nations, and continents,” Mr Andy Osei Oprah, President of the Young Professionals and Youth Coalition Programme said.
The West Africa Senior Advisor for Climate Change and Natural Resources at the British High Commission in Ghana is confident the Ghanaian youth can stand to the occasion in climate innovation and adaptation measures just as the youth of the United Kingdom have led in diverse ways across all levels on climate change including mounting consistent pressure on the government through domestic campaigns.
“The future is in dealing with climate change, the Youth have to make a conscious choice as to the Ghana they want to live in.”
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