The debilitating impact of climate change

Youth Advocacy on Rights and Opportunities (YARO), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has organised a conference on climate change and sustainable employment creation for the youth.

The two-day event, organised in partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) in Tamale, was to sensitize stakeholders and solicit their views for collective action against climate change effects on sustainable employment.

It was on the theme: “Mitigating the impact of climate change on sustainable employment creation.”
Officials from academia, policy makers, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and NGOs, among others, attended the meeting to develop inclusive strategies to tackle climate change and its effects on employment.

Mr Hajei Bennin, Executive Director of YARO, said climate change had a direct bearing on sustainable employment creation and called on stakeholders to make informed decisions to address the issue.

He said, “By the year 2030, it is estimated that about nine million full-time jobs, which are equivalent to 4.8 per cent working hours, will be lost due to climate change in West Africa.

“In 1995, 298,000 jobs, which are equivalent to 4.41 per cent of working hours, were lost in Ghana due to heat stress. Climate change is further estimated to lead to about 1 million jobs in the country with a 5.58 per cent loss of working hours equivalence.”

The trend, he said, called for collective efforts from stakeholders to increase awareness on the threats of climate change to sustainable employment and to develop mechanisms to tackle the problem.

Professor Seidu Al-Hassan, former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), who spoke on the topic: “Assessing the climate smartness of Ghana and its link to youth employment,” said the youth should be equipped with skills and knowledge on climate-smart agricultural practices and technologies to increase interest in the agricultural sector.

“We must build the capacities of the youth in modern agricultural practices. I am of the view that if we can do this, we will increase the youth interest in venturing into the agricultural sector and increase productivity and job creation among the youth.”

He called on policy makers to formulate climate adaptation policies that would impact positively employment creation and sustainable development.

Dr Alhassan Hamdiya, a Lecturer at the Department of Applied Economics UDS, who spoke on the topic: “The economic effects of climate change on agriculture and job creation in Ghana, the Northern Ghana example,” said the youth lacked information on climate change issues and how it could influence their interests in agriculture.

He stressed the need for the youth to be given the needed education on climate change to enable them to venture into agriculture.

Mr Johann Ivanov, Resident Director and Head of the Economic Policy Competence Centre at FES in Ghana, said it was relevant for stakeholders to hold discussions around climate change and its impacts on employment and how it could be solved to improve on the livelihoods of the youth.

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