Ghana will keep up the fight to reduce its carbon footprint, says President Featured

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says Ghana is committed to reducing her carbon footprint and will contribute significantly towards helping to win the fight against climate change.

Describing climate change as “the biggest threat to the realisation of the SDGs”, President Akufo-Addo said it has become a matter of grave concern to most leaders across the world, as it has a considerable impact on the fundamentals required for survival on Earth.

“We in Africa suffer the most because our weak economies are most susceptible to the effects of climate change, and our capacity to withstand its damage is low,” he said.

The President was speaking yesterday at the second Africa Climate Chance Summit, which ends at the Accra International Conference Centre today, Friday.

Human actions

With the Global Report on Climate Economy by the Coalition of Urban Transitions, launched on the sidelines of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly, stating that “the world faces a climate emergency – but cities offer national governments a solution”, the President stressed that it is in Africa’s interests to fight climate change decisively.

“We need to take practical and proactive steps to curb human activities that are endangering our planet. We need to provide solutions that can stand the test of time in Africa. Our work is cut out for us, and we cannot fail,” he declared.

With one eye on the assembled leaders of African cities, President Akufo-Addo said Ghana believes that acting on climate change cannot be done in isolation.

“It should be a co-ordinated effort, weaved into the sustainable development agenda of our various nations. The Paris Agreement and SDG Goal No 13 provide the framework for us to forge ahead in this direction,” he said.

Government efforts

He told the gathering that Ghana’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) towards combating climate change have been fully incorporated into the government’s Co-ordinated Programme for Economic and Social Development Policies (2017-24), to facilitate their implementation.

“Indeed, all local authorities have been directed to address climate change adaptation and mitigation actions within their medium-term development plans. This is to reaffirm the critical role urban and local authorities play in addressing climate actions at the local level.
“It is important, also, to note that actions, as implemented by local authorities, are executed in the framework of the national priorities of climate actions in Ghana,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo continued, “We are committed to reducing Ghana’s carbon footprints, and have thus taken the decision to increase the renewable energy component of our energy mix to 10 per cent, up from 1 per cent, by 2020. The target is to instal 200 megawatts of distributed solar power by 2030 in both residential and non-residential facilities, and in state agencies, in order to reduce the government’s dependence on power generated by fossil fuels.”

Jubilee House, the seat of the presidency, he added, will soon be powered by solar energy, as an example to other institutions or public buildings.

Furthermore, Ghana is considering the possibility of using nuclear energy, President Akufo-Addo told the gathering. And there is a nature-based solution also at the heart of Ghana’s climate action.

“We have placed a ban on illegal mining ‒ the phenomenon we call ‘galamsey’, which has been destroying our water bodies, vegetation and our forests. Some 20,000 young people have been employed to help restore our degraded lands, and have so far planted trees covering an area of 190,000 hectares,” he said.

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