President Akufo-Addo to lead Ghana’s delegation to COP26

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Akufo-Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Afufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will lead Ghana’s delegation to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, United Kingdom, from October 31 to November 12, 2021.

Ghana’s key propositions for the global meeting are to seek funding to implement her climate change adaptation measures, negotiate for an alternative to the 2030 fossil to renewable energy transition agenda, and push for the conclusion of the discussions that deal with carbon trading.

Dr Kweku Afriyie, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, who announced this at a Pre-COP26 conference in Accra, noted that climate change effects, such as erratic rainfall and increase in temperature, were already impacting Ghana, including her food systems, energy and cocoa production, the major foreign exchange earner.

To adapt to the impacts, the Minister said Ghana, in her interim Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs), had identified 47 adaptation and mitigation measures, which would need between US$9.3 and US$15.5 billion for its implementation in the next decade.

Just like other developing countries, Ghana had huge deposits of hydrocarbon resource needed to be harnessed for development.

The global agenda to phase out fossil fuel and resort to renewable energy would lead to disruption of the economy resulting in revenue and job losses, he said.

Dr Afriyie said: “Ghana depends so much on its natural resources, so the energy transition must be done carefully in a way that will not compromise our development.”

Touching on Ghana’s participation, he said a pavilion would be set up at the conference ground to showcase some of the steps she had taken to deal with climate change.

The country’s participation in the COP26, the Minister said, would enable Ghana to contribute to global discussions on climate change, and showcase national efforts at mitigating and adapting to its impact.

It would also provide a platform for bilateral discussions with development partner agencies for mobilising resources to address the menace.

Dr Henry Kwabena Kokofu, the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), expressed the Agency’s willingness to continue to provide technical leadership on climate change in the country and avail itself to supporting the COP26 preparation process and beyond.

Ms Beth Cadman, the Charge d’Affairs for the British High Commission, said the UK was playing her part to ensure that rich countries provided the finance that developing countries needed to adapt to climate change.

“Ghana is right to prioritise her needs at the COP; her voice is vital to spur action. It is a country with little responsibility for creating a crisis but one in which the effects will be strongly felt” Ms Cadman said.

“Securing access to climate finance will be one of Ghana’s key ambitions for the COP26. The UK is working hard to reach the target of $100 billion a year, as well as reducing emissions.”

Over 30,000 delegates, including 125 world leaders, have confirmed their participation in the COP26, on the theme: “Keeping 1.5 alive-ensuring it is still possible to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees,” the UK High Commission announced.

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