Govt taking steps to address global warming

The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, says concrete steps are being taken to ensure that the development agenda of the government responds to the emerging challenges of global warming. That, he said, would enable the country to better tackle head-on climate change challenges and position itself as a leader in Africa. Mr Oppong-Fosu made this known in an address read on his behalf at a workshop on climate finance in Accra last Wednesday. The event was aimed at soliciting the inputs of stakeholders in environmental management and climate change and how best both the government and civil society organisations could collaborate to access the Green Climate Fund to finance climate-related activities. It was organised by Ghana Can (GC) and the Development Institute (DI), two civil society organisations, and sponsored by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network, and Care Ghana and others. National policy Mr Oppong-Fosu said the ministry recognised that Ghana, a country desirous of achieving climate resilience in its development, lacked a concrete national policy on how climate change could be incorporated into the broad national development agenda. He said it was for that reason that a vibrant multi-sectoral National Climate Change Committee (NCCC) had been constituted and tasked with the ultimate responsibility to develop a national policy on climate change. Economic benefit He was worried that Ghana, like most African nations, had failed to attract the needed investment. “Much as this situation may be attributed to many factors, the absence of a co-ordinated policy strategy both at the governmental and agency levels accounts for this failure.” “It is for this reason that the ministry decided to develop the national climate change programme to serve as a master plan for climate interventions for the short to medium term,” he explained. The minister noted that climate change was a complex phenomenon and that the success of national efforts at promoting it depended on the combined effort of the government, the private sector and development partners. Collaboration is key The Executive Director of the Development Institute, Mr Ken Kenny, said currently most development donors and international funds were looking for collaboration among public and private sectors to effectively tackle climate change issues. “We must therefore collaborate on the basis of public-private partnership for us to access international funds to address pertinent climate change locally,” he said. A Programme Analyst at UNDP, Mr Namho Oh, said most climate funding, including the Green Climate Fund, was targeted at mitigation and adaptation in countries most vulnerable to environmental change. He, therefore, asked civil society organisations and other stakeholders in environmental management and climate change, not to focus only on public funds but also “leverage private sector to raise funds for your activities.” The Green Climate Fund, he said, was established in 2010 as an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change designed to disburse $100 billion per year to address climate change.