Let’s make the world greener and fairer for all – Akufo-Addo

Environment Cop President
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged world leaders to use COP 26 as “a turning point to create a more prosperous, greener and fairer world for all.”

He said a ‘fair and just world, which maintains the balance between the social, economic and environmental requirements of all nations of the earth, rich and poor must be pursued.”

Taking his turn to address delegates at the World Leader’s Summit, at the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference, COP 26, in Glasgow, Scotland on Tuesday, the President said: “Ghana acknowledges the importance and impact of Climate Change, and the urgent need to combat it, and we acknowledge equally the importance of protecting our development.

“We believe that a balance must be struck and maintained between our social, economic and environmental imperatives,” President Akufo-Addo stated.

His statement comes against the background of calls from some activists and industrialised nations, proposing a shift from exploration and use of fossil fuel to power industries, onto the use of other sources of renewables.

This stand, other experts have argued, would not auger well for many African countries, who had just discovered oil in commercial quantities and were producing them to develop their economies.

President Akufo-Addo admitted that climate change was the greatest threat to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals, as it had enormous impact on the fundamentals required for survival on earth.

However, he said, “Even though we, in Africa, are the least of the contributors to this phenomenon, responsible for less than four per cent of the global volume of carbon emissions, we suffer the most because our agrarian and resource-driven economies are peculiarly susceptible to the effects of climate change, and our capacity to withstand its shocks is weak.”

He explained that indeed agriculture, water, energy, and the extraction of mineral resources, were essential drivers of development in African countries, but, at the same time, were characteristically sensitive to changing climate.

He argued that “the Almighty has blessed our lands with abundant natural resources, and it would be wholly unfair for the world to demand that Africa abandons the exploitation of these same resources needed to finance her development, and help us to cope better with the threat of climate change, at a time when many countries on the continent have only just discovered them,” President Akufo-Addo said.

He continued, “The development and industrialisation of the wealthy nations of today were also hinged on the exploitation of their natural resources.
This development came at the expense of pollution and the emission of greenhouse gases. Even today, the western world is responsible for 76 per cent of carbon emissions.”

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