GHANA needs about $22.6 billion investments from domestic and international public and private sources to finance its climate action from 2020 to 2030.
Out of the amount, $6.3 billion is expected to be mobilized from domestic sources and $16.3 billion from international support.
This was disclosed in an exclusive interview by Prof Frimpong-Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, during the just-ended five-day conference aimed at spurring the mobilization of financial resources from international climate funds and the private sector to support African countries to implement their national climate actions..
The event, held on the theme ‘Climate Action in Africa: A Race We Can Win’, also afforded African countries the opportunity to showcase the progress they were making in implementing tangible green projects to deal with climate to achieve their climate actions.
Highlighting some of the interventions Ghana was implementing to mitigate the impact of climate change as the promotion of renewable energy, afforestation projects as well as pursuing low carbon electricity, building resilience and investing in sea defense walls.
“We have engaged 20,000 young people to plant 10 million trees as part of national effort to mitigate the negative effects of climate change in the country,” he added.
In a communique issued at the end of the meeting, a call was been made for increased investment for climate change actions to reduce the impact of global warming on the African continent.
Over 2,000 climate change scientists, policy makers, private investors, development partners and civil society organisations converged on the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) where they deliberated on ways to crowd in private sector investments for African nations to implement their national climate action goals, also known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
It was organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with the support of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Climate actions achievable
The participants said climate ambitions commensurate with the 1.5-degree Celsius temperature goal of the Paris Agreement that required countries to implement climate solutions to fight climate change.
The participants, in the communique, recommended that fighting climate change was achievable in Africa when climate plans were aligned with development plans, while mitigation and adaptation actions must be embedded in national development strategies.
They said data on climate change must be made consistent, reliable and comparable to help identify opportunities and to plan, finance and implement action at the national, local and across sectors.
“Investment must increase, and proper enabling environment must be put in place. Public finance must be used strategically to generate investor confidence and attract private sector players, ultimately spurring clean energy investment, including local sources,” the communique said.
It emphasised the need for African countries to develop low-cost and high-impact infrastructure projects in areas such as mobility, buildings, and waste management as well as factor in climate risks in the preparation of local budgets and ensure the climate-proofing of investments, while building the capacities of cities and local actors for the development of bankable project.
Giving his closing remarks, a Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, called for collective effort from all stakeholders to tackle the impact of climate via increased public awareness of global warming, recognition of specific needs of each continent and ensure sustainable use of natural resources to fight the menace.
The high-level session of the event attracted President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Prof FrimpongBoateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation; Mr Mohammed Adeji Sowah, the CEO of Accra; Mr Ovals Sarmad, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC; Mr Michal Kurtyka, the President of COP 24.
In his address, President AkufoAddo, who is also an Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), called on African countries to join forces with the rest of the world to halt climate change in view of the fact that the continent’s environment and economies were the most susceptible to the effects of what he described as a destructive phenomenon.
He said since agriculture, water and energy were essential drivers of development on the continent and characteristically sensitive to changing climate, it required bold and concrete steps to protect global climate from warming beyond unreasonable limits
“I call on all Africans to support and join in the fight against climate change; it is imperative that we join the call as enshrined in the SDGs to protect, restore and promote the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystem, sustainable land forest, combat desertification and stop land degradation,” he urged.
Impact of global warming
The President noted that global warming had a considerable impact on the fundamentals required for survival on earth and cited instances such as the rising sea levels, severe and extreme weather conditions, including droughts, floods, erratic rainfall patterns and growing desertification as some of the effects of climate change.
He was of the view that for Africans, the ravages of climate change affected the continent the most and that the week-long programme afforded an opportunity to showcase the progress that had been made in tackling the phenomenon, as well as deepening the partnership required at the global level to combat it.
Access to funds
He observed that a major concern confronting almost all developing nations was the need to streamline access to international climate finance to complement national funding to reduce carbon emissions on the African continent.