Dr Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), has appealed to the citizenry to abstain from practices that would escalate the country’s vulnerability to climate crisis.
He said human activities such as cutting down trees, illegal mining, improper waste disposal, emissions from vehicles and industries, and burning of forests released greenhouse gasses that caused climate change.
Speaking at the launch of the 2023 Climate Change and Green Economy Week in Accra on Tuesday, Dr Afriyie said Climate Change remained an “indispensable risk” to all facets of the country’s development.
“These days, the weather has become warmer than in the past. Rainfall is increasingly becoming uncertain…farmers across the country are complaining that they can no longer rely on the mercies of the weather to plan when to plant,” he said.
The Climate Change and Green Economy Week was first observed in Ghana in 2016 as part of the National Climate and Green Economy Learning Strategy.
This year’s week-long celebration would be observed between 27th to 31st March 2023, with a number of activities, including public education, youth dialogue, conference and awards, and dinner night.
During the period, the MESTI and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), together with their partners, would sensitise the public on Climate Change and create awareness on the subject matter.
Dr Afriyie said the Celebration would offer the Ministry an opportunity to provide the public a better understanding of Climate Change and its impacts on livelihoods and development.
“The serious threat that climate change pose to the country now and in future is the reason why the Government wants to embark on public education to serve as a means of providing a better understanding of how climate change, and what actions are being taken to tackle it,” he said.
Dr Afriyie said as part of this year’s activities, the Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Education would initiate the Climate Change Teacher Award as part of the integration of Climate Change and Green Economy into School Curricula programme.
Dr Henry Kwabena Kokofu, the Executive Director of EPA, said climate change was one of the biggest threats to livelihoods and the economy of Ghana with wide-ranging effects such as destructive floods, drying of rivers, food crisis, climate induced diseases and bushfires.
He said the Climate Week Celebration would focus on awareness creation to bring to the attention of the public across Ghana and the global community both the causes and effects of climate change, and the need to reduce its impacts on society.
“However, this initiative was to showcase the vulnerability of Ghana on climate change impacts to the global community.” Dr Kokofu said.
According to the United Nations, over 800 million people (11 per cent of global population) are currently vulnerable to climate change impacts and extreme weather events.
The World Bank has also indicated that if climate action is not taken, 100 million people could be forced into poverty by 2030.