Building resilience against climate change and ensuring social transformation should be a key part of Ghana’s negotiations at the upcoming climate talks (COP27) in Egypt, stakeholders and policy makers involved in environmental protection, have said.
At a pre-COP 27 meeting organised by the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-STEPRI) in Accra, the stakeholders said the negotiations must consider the destruction to lives and property occasioned by climate change.
They also said the discussions must explore innovative financing strategies to enhance adaptation particularly in the areas of food security, and the protection of water resources.
The meeting was on the theme: “Building resilience against climate change through effective adaptation planning and actions: Ghana’s progress ahead of COP 27”.
From November 6 to November 18, 2022, the world will converge at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 27) – which will be the fifth time an African country will host the landmark international conference.
Although African countries have contributed to less than four per cent of global emissions, the continent is continuously battling with extreme drought, erratic rainfall, rising sea levels, flooding and other challenges that impact food systems and contribute to hunger and poverty.
Mr Peter Dery, the Director of Environment at the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, said Ghana would push for the doubling of adaptation financing for African countries at COP 27.
He said there must be a way to compensate for the loss of lives and property associated with extreme climate events.
“The 100 billion dollars that they (developed countries) promised, they should deliver on the promise. We will continue to hold them accountable for that pledge because that is the only way we will be able to build resilience,” Mr Dery said.
On the issue of energy transition, he said the country “cannot just abandon” its energy resources such as oil and gas, adding that the transition must be such that it did not lead to unemployment and affect livelihoods.
“A just transition is an important subject we are going to negotiate at COP. Allow us to transition but let it be such that it doesn’t destruct our economies, create unemployment, or spoil livelihoods,” Mr Dery said.
According to the UN, over 800 million people (11 per cent of global population) are currently vulnerable to climate change impacts and extreme weather events.
The World Bank has also indicated that if climate action is not taken, 100 million people could be forced into poverty by 2030.
Dr Antwi-Boasiako Amoah, the Project Coordinator of the National Adaption Plan on climate change, told journalists that the country was working towards completing its adaptation plan by the end of next year.
The Adaptation Plan explores Ghana’s vulnerability to climate change in diverse sectors and seeks to mainstream climate change adaptation measures in everyday activities.
“We don’t want to rush to just submit a plan. We want to do things that are implementable,” Dr Amoah said.
Dr Portia Adade Williams, a Research Scientist at the CSIR-STEPRI, said the outcome of the meeting would be submitted to the Presidency to guide Ghana’s negotiations at COP 27.