Dr Nana Ama Browne Klutse, Senior Lecturer, Department of Physics, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, University of Ghana, has urged the government to develop policies to address the increasing incidences of drought and flooding in the country.
She said the government must put in place an institutional framework to mitigate the effects of climate change, especially in vulnerable communities that were disproportionately affected by the shocks and stresses of flooding and drought.
Dr Klutse said this during a discussion on the 6th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report in Accra.
The report titled “Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis,” shows that emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are responsible for approximately 1.1°C of warming since 1850-1900 and that over the next 20 years, global temperature is expected to reach or exceed 1.5°C of warming.
The report shows that Africa is among the regions where the projected change in dangerous heat stress, drought and flooding is stronger.
Dr Klutse said government social interventions such as Planting for Food and Jobs, One District, One Dam must be sustained to withstand the shocks associated with climate change.
Dr Klutse stated that human activities played a vital role in contributing to climate change, including heatwaves, heavy rainfall and droughts, which needed urgent attention.
She said Ghana must intensify education on the impact of global warming and how to adapt to climate change to encourage the citizenry to change their attitudes and behaviour.
The Senior Lecturer said global warming had worsened the climate risk that Africa faced because of its high levels of background poverty, farmers’ dependence on rainfall, weak infrastructure and lack of social welfare.
The report, she said, would inform policy-makers to be proactive and put in place policies to help people, who may be affected by the dangers of flooding and drought in the country.
Professor Clement Alo, Senior Lecturer, Earth Science department, Montclair State University, New Jersey, USA, said facilities for financing mitigation and supporting low-carbon development should be restructured to be more responsive to Africa’s needs and opportunities.
“There are two options in tackling climate change to prevent the impacts it causes on the planet: mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation measures are taken to reduce and curb greenhouse gas emissions, while adaptation measures are based on reducing vulnerability to the effects of climate change,” he said.
Dr Joseph Ansong, Senior Lecturer, Department of Mathematics, University of Ghana, urged the government to collaborate with the Universities and invest in research for reliable and quality data on climate change for proper planning.
He stressed that proper adaptation planning was critical in addressing the impacts of climate change, especially in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Daniel Benefor, Senior Programmes Officer, Climate Change Unit of the Environmental Protection Agency, said climate change issues needed to be resolved with solutions that could help prevent future consequences on human health and the entire universe.
Dr Benefor said the country must focus on strategies to strengthen the country’s agricultural sector, which provides livelihoods for around 65 per cent of the population.