UK rallies support for Ghana’s participation in COP26

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COP26 Briefing In Accra
COP26 Briefing In Accra

The United Kingdom High Commission says it is right for Ghana to prioritise its needs at the upcoming Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, UK, since the voice of the country is vital to spur the needed action.

“It is really important that Ghana’s voice is heard at COP, and we believe it will be. The team of negotiators is very influential within the African Group of Negotiators, and they are sending clear messages about the need for climate finance, and the urgency of adaptation to climate change that is already happening,” Madam Beth Cadman, Charge d’affaires for the British High Commission has said.

Speaking on behalf of the British High Commissioner at a press engagement on Ghana’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) ahead of Ghana’s preparation towards participating in COP26, scheduled from October 31 to November 12, 2021, Madam Cadman expressed “Ghana is a country with little responsibility for creating the crisis, but one in which the effects will be strongly felt.

“Securing access to climate finance will be one of Ghana’s key ambitions for COP26,” she said.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected to lead Ghana’s delegation made up of negotiators, technocrats and heads of various sector Ministries as well as some media personnel to the COP.

The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in partnership with the British High Commission organised the press engagement in Accra.

Madam Cadman said the United Kingdom was working hard to reach the target of contributing $100 billion a year towards climate financing as well as reducing emissions.

“The UK established a record for climate reduction commitments in June this year, passing into law, a commitment to reduce emissions by 78 per cent by 2035,” she said.

Also, the UK recently, announced its Net Zero Strategy, setting out how it will reach zero emissions by 2050.

Madam Cadman explained that her county had also set out measures to help move businesses and consumers to clean power, to create hundreds of thousands of good, green jobs, and result in up to 90 billion pounds of private investment by 2030.

“It will reduce Britain’s reliance on imported fossil fuels, and will protect consumers from global price hikes by boosting clean, local energy sources”, she said, adding that she was hopeful Ghana would be able to develop similar plans in the future.

She stated that all the efforts her country was making towards the fight against the impact of climate change were manifestations of that the UK was willing to do what was needed to limit the world to 1.5 degrees of warming.

On Ghana’s preparation towards the COP, Madam Cadman said the Embassy was happy to have had such a positive relationship with Ghana in the run-up to COP26, emphasizing that, COP 26 was critical for Ghana because it was under real and present threat from climate change.

Madam Cadman, therefore, expressed UK’s commitment to work with Ghana long after the crowds have left Glasgow, to help implement the Ghana NDCs, and to collaborate to influence businesses, politicians and even other countries, to meet their obligations.

Dr Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of Environment, Science Technology and Innovation said Ghana had already submitted its interim NDCs to the UNFCCC, the body that organises the COP, while it was awaiting the approval of its NDCs at a high-level political consideration after which the final submission would be done.

He said the participation in the COP would help Ghana contribute to global discussions on climate change, showcase national efforts at mitigating and adapting to the impact of climate change, as well as boost bilateral discussions with development partners and agencies for mobilising resources and financial capacity technology transfer and to address climate change issues.

Over 30,000 delegates, including 125 world leaders, have confirmed their attendance to participate in COP26, to be held 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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