The Gender Focal Person on Climate Change for Abibinsroma Foundation says issues of the environment are human rights and should be projected as such.
Mrs. Portia Adu Mensah said, “Environmental justice was important because it was a basic human right since it allowed everyone to have some allowance of urgency over the decisions that are impacting their lives.”
Mrs. Adu Mensah was addressing a workshop organised by Abibinsroma Foundation to sensitize the public about Ghana’s action and proposals to be tables at the ongoing 26th Conference of Parties (COP) in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
She said it was necessary to develop the understanding that climate justice was everybody’s business and the environment should be everybody’s concern.
Mrs. Portia observed that Ghana’s climate change was largely defined as the exposure to various impact with drought, flood, sea erosion and many drivers. “So, the most affected sectors in Ghana include the economic sector, social sector and infrastructure,” she explained.
Mrs. Adu Mensah said most of the environmental issues had to do with pollution, “And this pollution has stripped many communities of their rights to most basic needs such as clean water, food, air and safe housing.
She observed that the agricultural sector in Ghana was the most vulnerable to climate change because the sector largely depended on rainfall and rainfall patterns kept changing due to climate change.
Mrs. Adu Mensah insisted that the negative impacts on the climate ought to be taken seriously because it created adult and child poverty were environmental hazards, which affected their health, etc.
“The conversation is now driving to mitigation and adaptation. So, to manage climate change and the environment, we need an alternative source of energy production, and that is why we need to shift to renewable energy; we need a carbon capture, we need to plant more trees,” she indicated.
The Coordinator of Abibinsroma Foundation, Mr. Robert Amiteye, said climate change needed the World’s attention, due to the devastating impact it had on our economy.
Mr. Amiteye therefore argued that both richer and poorer countries must take responsibility for pollution because, whilst the rich polluted the environment through manufacturing, the poorer countries encouraged it by patronizing and consuming the manufactured products from the developed world.
He therefore insisted that there was the need to consume “what we grow locally to discourage the depleting of our environment.”
Mr. Richard Martey of the Alliance for Rural Development, in adding his voice to the debate, said there was the need for all to appreciate understanding of climate change issues and how they affected everybody.
Mr. Martey therefore called for the strengthening of “our voices in fighting it” in order to achieve the desired results.
COP 26 would be held from the 31st of October to 12th November in Glassgow, Scotland where stakeholders would come up with the road map for addressing climate change issues.
The pre-COP workshop in Tema was organized in collaboration with Climate Action Network (CAN) for West and Central Africa.