Climate Change To Add Further Burden To Ghana’s Economy; World Bank Cautions

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Lorenzo Carrera Sector Leader Of Sustainable Development At World Bank Launched The Report
Lorenzo Carrera Sector Leader Of Sustainable Development At World Bank Launched The Report

Ghana’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions is small, with emissions on a per capita basis at 24 % of the global average.

Nonetheless, Ghana would be disproportionally affected by climate change. Without action at least one million more people could fall into poverty due to climate shocks and income could reduce by up to 40% for poor households.

This is contained in the World Bank Group’s Ghana Country Climate and Development Report(CCDR) launched in Accra.

Pierre Laporte, the World Bank Country Director, in his remarks said, Ghana had demonstrated major development achievements over the past three decades.

He however said progress has slowed down and the country is facing an economic crisis, amongst others due to COVID-19.

Climate change impacts according to him, could continue to add further burden on the economy. With prompt action and long-term vision, the World Bank Country Director for Ghana said, Ghana can turn the challenges of climate change into opportunities, and leapfrog to greener, resilient and inclusive development pathways.

The report estimates that the additional cost of climate action is equivalent to 2% to 3% of the cumulative Gross Domestic Product until 2050, with the proofing of existing infrastructures.

With the right conditions in place and leveraging both private and development finances, he said, this can be double for an economy like Ghana, and the economic benefits of US$26 billion in the period 2022-2040 just for the actions identified in the report would outweigh the costs.

In the context of high debt and tight fiscal constraints, Pierre Laporte said Ghana would need to carefully prioritize investments starting from no-regret actions that maximize resilience benefits.

The country, he said, needed to take urgent action to restore macroeconomic stability and improve the business enabling the environment to mobilize funds from various sources, including private and development finance.

This, the Country Director of the World Bank said, would require high-level commitment, a clear financial strategy, strong institutions, and making sure that nobody is left behind.

The World Bank, he said, is already supporting Ghana to address climate and build resilience.  He said, “our current portfolio stands at US$ 3.3 billion with strong engagements in disaster risk management, urban development, landscape management, forestry, water supply, social protection, food systems, and more to come, for example on coastal resilience and agriculture.”

As part of the Climate Change Action Plan 2021-2025, the Bank he said, aims to step up further World Bank Group commitments to climate change and align all World Bank projects to the Paris Agreement by the end of this fiscal year.

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