Ghana On Course To Tackle Climate Change

Ghana has drafted an intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) document that aims at setting out a policy framework that integrates adaptation, mitigation, and other climate related policy to combat the challenges of climate change, which is now a reality.

The INDC is in response to invitation to countries to initiate or intensify domestic preparations to adapt or mitigate climate change effects. The invitation was made during the 19th session of the Conference of Parties (COP) in Warsaw, Poland.

The INDCs resonate with Ghana’s medium-term development agenda (Ghana Shared Growth Development Agenda II), the anticipated 40-year socio-economic transformational plan, and the universal sustainable development goals.

Twenty mitigation and eleven adaption programme of actions in 7 priority economic sectors are proposed for implementation in the ten-year period the INDC will span (2020-2030). Ghana needs 22.6 billion dollars to finance the INDCs. The country will raise 6.3 billion dollars with the remaining 16.3 billion dollars coming from external sources.

The Parliament of Ghana will subsequently ratify the INDC sometime in 2016 to give it the needed legal backing and also make it operational.

President John D. Mahama is expected to present Ghana’s intended nationally determined contribution at the 20th session of the Conference of Parties (COP) in Paris, France in December this year.

The president is expected to tell participants at COP 20 that Ghana holds the view that the INDCs should cover mitigation, adaptation, finance technology, capacity building and transparency.

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA), which is at the forefront of the drafting of Ghana’s INDC has set out on a roadshow to create awareness among civil society organisation (CSOs) across the country about the existence of the INDC.

An awareness creation workshop was earlier organised in Accra for CSOs from the Greater Accra, Volta, and Central Regions. In Kumasi CSOs drawn from the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Western and Eastern Regions have also been engaged by the EPA and the German development agency GIZ, which is providing funds for the awareness creation exercise. Civil Society Organisations in Upper West, Upper East and the Northern Regions will soon be engaged by the EPA also.

The Ashanti Regional director of the EPA, Mr Isaac Osei, told representatives of CSOs in Kumasi that recent disasters which have occurred in the country are a testimony to the fact that climate change is a reality.

He said the world has acknowledged the phenomenon of climate change and in that regard measures are being implemented to mitigate or adapt to climate change effects.

He was happy that “Ghana has made strenuous efforts in partnership with her international partners to combat climate change”. He expressed the hope that the INDC will serve as a viable blueprint to guide the country to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Mr Osei said suggestions and recommendations will be solicited from the CSOs to be incorporated into the INDCs for the document to reflect the views of every important segment of society.

At the individual level he entreated Ghanaians to also adopt simple and effective measures that are friendly to the environment whether in construction or in farming and other commercial activities.

Representatives of some CSOs who spoke to this reporter on the sidelines of the workshop expressed delight at the steps taken by the EPA to engage them.

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