The Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11, must serve as a vehicle to help address the issue of climate change.
According to Professor Christopher Gordon, the Director, Institute of Environment and Sanitation Studies, University of Ghana, the Conference which aims to produce a legally binding agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, must enable nations to come to a compromised ground on resolving the challenges of climate change.
The 2015 Paris Climate Conference, for the first time in over 20 years of United Nations negotiations on climate change, will bring together about 40,000 delegates from 195 countries including heads of state and prominent figures in the fight against climate change.
He said the ‘Intended Nationally Determined Commitments’ to be undertaken by countries towards reducing the greenhouse gas emission should seek fairness and equity based on national circumstances.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Prof Gordon said climate change is a global problem, which requires a global solution.
“It is unfortunate that climate change has been brought about by how developed countries developed to reach where they are today; but we in Africa and countries like Ghana, are the ones who would suffer the consequences of the change in climate,” he said.
Prof Gordon said the developed countries in their attempt to develop through industrialization emitted excessive greenhouse gases which had brought about the current situation.
He said as a result of climate change, in Ghana, all areas from the north to south were getting hotter; stating that “the rainfall pattern has changed and the amount of rainfall that is falling is actually less”.
“All of these have implications on how farmers operate, how roads are flooded, how disasters in terms of school buildings without roofs are manifested and it impacts the fisheries resources as well.
“In fact, there is no aspect of our daily life which is not impacted by climate change. This is exemplified by the falling water levels in the Akosombo Dam, which has contributed to the ongoing power crisis which the nation is facing,” he added..
On the issue of mitigating the effects of climate change, Prof Gordon said, Ghanaians could do something about it by conserving energy and planting more trees which could absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
“One thing we have in Ghana in abundance is sunlight and certainly investment into renewables is more sustainable than fossil fuel, which will run out one day,” he said.
He said solar power had the advantage of a disconnected system and could be set up where it is needed, declaring that “it is high time we in Ghana begin to manufacture solar panels and its batteries for power generation locally”.
The Director said solar power generation and the usage of some solar gadgets such as ovens and water heaters could contribute to address the nation’s energy needs.