COP26: UK High Commissioner underscores need for climate finance

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Madam Harriet Thompson

As world leaders prepare for the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference (COP26) Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Madam Harriet Thompson, United Kingdom High Commissioner to Ghana, has underscored the need for climate finance.

She said she was pleased to note that countries that had little to do with cause of climate change yet facing the consequences regardless, were discussing measures to mitigate the impact of climate change and called for commitment to funding the campaign.

“This is the moral case for climate finance which – as agreed at Copenhagen in 2009 – should reach $100 billion a year. In 2019, the figure still only reached $80 billion,” Madam Thompson said at the Royal Dialogue on Climate Action and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Ofori Panin Palace in Kyebi in the Eastern Region.

“The UK is prioritising agreements at COP that should see this figure continue to rise, and for the rich nations to pay their share,” the High Commissioner, said.

The overarching objective of the Royal Dialogue is to provide a forum for reflection and dialogue on Climate Action and the SDGs, and define collective actions at the sub-national level to accelerate progress towards the SDGs and Ghana’s commitment under the Paris Agreement.

The pre-26th United Nations Climate Change conference (pre-COP26) event under the patronage of Osagyefuo Amotia Ofori Panin is being organized by the SDGs Advisory Unit, Office of the President and the Okyeman Environment Foundation.

Madam Thompson said the Okyenhene’s voice was especially important; saying, “Your credibility, your track record, and your role can help cut through the noise and ensure that the leaders both here in Ghana and in Glasgow are taking proper consideration of forest protection, of agricultural livelihoods, and of the adaptation agenda”.

“Alongside Ghana’s skilled and influential negotiators, I hope that this COP will be one where the needs of countries like Ghana are fully taken account of.”

“We know that if temperatures rise by 1.5 degrees – our most optimistic scenario – then 75 per cent of Ghana’s current cocoa plantations could become unviable,” the High Commissioner said.

She noted that Ghana was vulnerable to a wide range of climate impacts- from coastal erosion in the south, and desertification in the north, and losses to hydro power and charged the authorities to sustain the campaign and reverse the impact.
She said last week, the UK published its Net Zero Strategy – a road map for reducing emissions to nothing by 2050 with other benefits before the 2050 target.

Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin said the Akyem Abuakwa State was committed to make its contribution to the Paris Climate Accord.

Dr Eugene Owusu, the Presidential Advisor on SDGs, said the time to act to address the issue of climate Change was now.

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