Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, has called on Ghanaian stakeholders in climate change negotiations to unite in their efforts to source for resources to help in the country’s mitigation and adaptation programmes.
Addressing the Ghanaian delegates at the UN Conference of Parties (COP 23) underway in Bonn, Germany, he said: “”The idea of attending a COP is to network so that we get resources to change our country”.
Assisted by his Special Assistant, Mr Oliver Boakye and Mr Peter Abum Sarkordie, the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said: “These days when you talk about climate change we are not talking only about EPA or Forestry Commission, but it is about the totality of Ghana’s development”.
He, therefore, called for linkages among the various stakeholders to enable Ghana to get the needed resources to develop the country.
He said the totality of development depended on the environment since climate change affected every aspect of life, especially in the area of agriculture, with rivers drying up, and prolong drought being recorded, particularly in the three regions of the north.
He stated that even transportation services, health, energy, and sometimes education were all being affected by climate change, and therefore, the need to mobilise actions to mitigate the impacts.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng advised all sector ministries to come together and present a common front and source resources for the nation.
He noted that Ghana needed new technology and capacity building to design appropriate measures and capacities to build resilience to mitigate climate change.
“We hope that at the end of the day we will get something to build our nation. We are here not for ourselves, we are here to seek resources, to change the way we do things in Ghana and when we set a good example, I think the rest of Africa will learn from our experience,” the Minister said.
He said during the last week of COP 23, there would be lots of bilateral engagements that he would lead the Ghanaian team to engage in, with the expectation of getting some resources to help develop the country.
“Let’s not think we are insignificant, we are very significant and if we tune our minds to change the world we can do it,” Prof Frimpong-Boateng said.
During the interactions, the leads of the various representatives from the Ministries of Environment and Science, Lands and Natural Resources, Food and Agriculture, and Finance, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Forestry Commission, briefed the Minister on the level of Ghana’s engagement in the COP23 that started a week ago.
Mr Kyekyeku Oppong-Boadi, Ghana’s National Focal Person on Climate Change, explained that Ghana’s Team was part of the Africa Group of Negotiators and that a key benefit being accrued from the COP meetings was skills building.
Another advantage was that new participants from Ghana were being brought on board to take up thematic areas of concern as they learn the process of climate negotiations.
He expressed the hope that Ghana would hopefully benefit from the Climate Change Finance soon, like her Kenyan and Senegal counterparts, to address the issues of climate impact, mitigation and adaptability.
As part of the ongoing COP23, Ghana held a side-event on the theme: “Demonstrating Progress in Ghana’s Climate Agenda, Trilateral Cooperation in Renewable Energy, Cities and Climate”.
The Ghana-Bonn event was used to share the key objectives of renewable energy plan and other actions being undertaken under the trilateral agreement.
It was also to help demonstrate to the world what Ghana was doing within the Climate Agenda and how it was preparing through policy, programmes and projects to undertake activities within the Nationally Determined Contributions.
The organisation of COP23, being hosted by the Fiji Republic as the Chair, is being supported by the German Government.
Delegates around the world are hoping to ensure greater momentum for the Paris Agreement and to raise the level of ambition needed to address global warming at the two-week event.