Story: Joseph Kobla Wemakor
The Paramount Chief of Shama Traditional area, Nana Kwesi Wieni has admonished the youth to join in the fight against climate change as a way of tackling drought and the numerous challenges associated with global warming.
He said ?the fight against climate change should be a collective responsibility of everyone regardless of who you are, you see, global warming is here with us, our fishermen find it difficult these days to get a good catch coupled with that, the bad weather we experience all the time, isn’t that a clear signal that we must all put up a good fight in ensuring we protect the God-given environment that shelter us?”
He made this remark at Youth Forum and Rally event organized by a group known as 350.Ghana reduce our carbon(G-ROC) to sensitize the Komfueku community on the climate change and dangers of coal plant last Saturday August 16, in the Western Region.
He appealed to the government to consider investing in clean renewable energy instead of coal-plant which he believes has dire consequences on the environment as a way of ensuring preservation of the natural environment from global warming and equally fix Ghana?s energy crises.
350. G-ROC is a grassroots movement formed with the aim of mobilizing and empowering young people in partnership with key stakeholders to actively champion the need to reduce carbon emissions as a key effort in combating climate change under the global power shift project(GPS) phase 2
The national Coordinator of 350. G-ROC, Chibeze Ezekiel disclosed the Youth Forum and Rally is aimed at sensitizing the people living within the whole Shama traditional area for that matter Komfueku community on climate change issues and how they can adapt, create more support base of young people to collectively fight against climate change effects as well as raise young renewable energy advocacy champions.
In his presentation, he raises concern about Government’s plans to tackle the twin threats of global warming and environmental degradation, two of the biggest threats to Ghana’s sustainable future seems unpredictable with respect to reliable and clean energy provision.
According to Ezekiel, despite the promising policies and a call by President Mahama for strong leadership to help in meeting environmental challenges the country faces, it still remains to be seen whether there is the political will to deliver against these policies.
He lamented the huge potential increase in Ghana’s CO2 emissions resulting from the proposed development of coal fired plant and call on government to reconsider the establishment of a solar plant as a clean renewable energy which is environmental friendly.
According to him, Ghana emits about 24 megatonnes of carbon dioxide a year currently and believes government’s plan to come out with a coal power plant will certainly aggravate the state of the environment as it spews more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Ezekiel believes renewable or clean energies like solar energy, wind or biogas are safer and sustainable sources of energy generation and consumption.
“Clean, renewable source of energy does not only guarantee regular energy provision but has inherent job creation opportunities for majority of unemployed or under-employed youth? he hinted.
He therefore called on the Government and the private sector to abolish its decision to establish coal- plant as it stands to defeat the gains made in reducing Ghana’s carbon emissions, as a matter of urgency create Renewable Energy Fund as stipulated in the Renewable Act 2011(ACT 832) and finally demands private sector and other stakeholders to support government in investing into renewable energies as a major source of employment for young people.
Also speaking during the forum, Hon. Percy Ahenakwoah who is the Assemblyman of the area has charged the youth who assumed leadership positions to exhibit qualities of good leadership and to live up to task they have been assigned to play.
He assured the G-ROC team and other partners that his outfit will protect the interest of the community and ensure that Government is held accountable for their deeds.
“We are going to ensure that Gov’t will do the right thing. The saying that the best comes from the west is just a deception and for that matter, we are going to ensure that the right thing is done in the region because our health must be first and everything to be second” he stressed.