A Private Sector Climate Change Investment forum has opened in Accra to give the sector players the avenue to explore climate investment opportunities as well as help Ghana implement its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
The forum, being held in Accra on the theme: “Empowering the Private Sector as a key Partner in achieving Ghana’s NDCs in the Era of COVID-19 and beyond,” is also being attended by international and development-oriented organisations, government agencies, civil societies and academia, who are participating both in person and through virtual.
The Private Enterprises Federation (PEF), in collaboration with the Ministries of Finance and Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the Global Climate Finance Readiness Programme and the NDCs Support Programme, are hosting the forum.
Private sector players would through the forum, explore the opportunities and risks to climate change investment and identify possible concrete actions that could be taken forward to overcome key barriers, particularly in the era of COVID-19.
Mrs Cynthia Asare Bediako, Chief Director, Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, in a speech read on her behalf, said Ghana’s NDCs had been updated to 47 mitigation and adaptation programmes of action, covering 19 policy areas and requiring an investment of between US$9.3 and US$15.5 billion to implement the actions from 2021 to 2030.
Out of the total amount, US$5.4 billion for the 31 conditional programmes of action would be mobilised from the public, international and private-sector sources and the carbon markets.
She said since a lot of funds were being contributed from the private sector as global climate finance flows, local private capital was essential to scaling up climate finance in Ghana in the light of restricted public resources.
Madam Jelena Raketic, Acting Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP, said the forum was very strategic as all efforts were needed to scale up funds to accelerate the implementation of Ghana’s commitment under the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
She expressed the belief that the COVID-19 pandemic and various stimulus packages for households and businesses being provided by the government of Ghana, would have a significant impact on public debt and potentially impact Ghana’s efforts at addressing climate change.
She said even though the international trend for climate and sustainable finance solutions was gaining momentum, however, the reality was that committed international climate finance across Africa had been low.
Ms Raketic also noted that the impact of climate change had although been devastating, yet had been described as the “greatest investment opportunity in history, valued at about 10 per cent of global GDP”.
She said climate change impact had, therefore, been known to provide an unprecedented opportunity to unlock massive economic and social benefits that could help the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, leaving no one behind.
“Studies have shown that bold climate action could trigger US$26 trillion in economic benefits by 2030 and create around over 65 million new jobs”.
She, therefore, called for stronger political will and urgent sufficient financial deployment, in addressing climate impacts.
Mrs Adwoa Faikue, Principal Economics Officer, Ministry of Finance, said climate finance was key, as a large investment, were required to significantly reduce emissions and to adapt to the adverse effect of climate change.
She said the government was, therefore, rolling out various stimuli for the private sector because it was the engine of growth, the path for job creation and avenue for revenue generation, climate investment and source of climate finance mobilisation.
The private sector was essential in helping mobilise the needed technical capabilities and leverage the efforts of governments in developing innovative climate services, she noted.
Nana Osei-Bonsu, Chief Executive Officer, PEF urged his fellow sector players to take advantage of the opportunities available and get involved in measures to mitigate climate change impact, especially, exploring renewable energy sources, like, solar as well as other local materials like clay for bricks lying and for building projects like road works.