Ghana’s measures on climate change: National green jobs strategy

Ghana’s measures on climate change: National green jobs strategy

The year 2023 was hit with several reports on the negative impact of global warming and climate change.

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The negative impact of climate change is characterised by extreme weather conditions, such as, floods, heat waves, changes in weather patterns, drought, heavy downpours, eroding soil fertility and seasonal shifts, among others, across the world.

Notable among the countries hit with these negative impacts of climate change are Ghana, Canada, and the US, among others. Besides, there are also enough scientific studies based on researchers from the University of Manitoba and 15 other institutions to suggest that the ice belt at the North Pole is melting and these events are bound to have dire consequences on human life, if measures are not taken. 

Global

The extreme weather conditions attributed to climate change are caused by persistent increasing global temperatures which is referred to as global warming. According to Scientists, global warming is happening due to the accumulation of huge volumes of greenhouse gases, such as, carbon dioxide, methane and others in the atmosphere, because of human activity.

Some of the human activities include the introduction of machines for commercial mass production, particularly diesel engines and locomotives, burning furnaces, illegal mining ( galamsey), and burning of fossil fuel, coal, oil and gas.  

Consequent to the negative impact of global warming and climate change on human lives and development, there was consensus at the global and national levels for governments to put in place measures to curb emissions, thereby increasingly prioritising sustainable development strategies to preserve the environment, prevent biodiversity loss and pollution at all levels (air, water, and food).  

Following this, Ghana signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2016 and developed a Nationally Determined Contribution Framework to indicate how the country would contribute to the reduction of emissions.  

As a nation with abundant natural resources and a growing economy, Ghana recognises the importance of integrating environmental sustainability into its development agenda to preserve and conserve the environment for future generations, as well as ensure a safe place for habitation.

As part of these efforts, Ghana, under the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR), and in collaboration with stakeholders, has developed a National Green Jobs Strategy (NGJS) as a response measure to curb emissions, as well as ensure a coordinated framework to guide the implementation of measures to minimise job losses and maximise potential job creation opportunities of the emerging green economy.

NGJS

The overall aim of the NGJS is to support the creation of green jobs through coherent and effective policy coordination of sectoral approaches. Specifically, the objectives are as follows:

• To ensure policy alignment, coherence and coordination for the maximisation of green jobs.
• To develop employable skills, particularly for the youth, women and PWDS to take advantage of existing and emerging job potential.
• To support the creation of green jobs across sectors through the promotion of sustainable and competitive green enterprises and markets 
• To mobilise and facilitate access to sustainable financing for green enterprises through inter-sectoral collaboration and cooperation.

The NGJS has four components it aims to undertake. One focuses on the Green Jobs Coordination Capacity Development Project. Component two focuses on the Green Skills Development Project, three on deals with the Green Enterprise Development Project and Access to Green Products, and finally, component four handles Green Enterprise Finance Project.

Some key activities to be undertaken in the components are incorporating green jobs into public employment programmes, and sector policies, developing a database of green interventions, creating awareness of green job opportunities, establishing green jobs coordination platforms, developing green professional and occupational courses, developing green curricula and organise green skills training.

Sectors for Green impact

In implementing the strategy, the nation is prioritising green sectors such as renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, forestry, waste management and recycling, construction, ecotourism and nature-based tourism.

Meanwhile, the ministry, with funding support from development partners, such as, SNV Ghana and the ILO, has, so far, organised regional awareness and sensitisation programmes in Accra, Tamale, Oti, Kumasi, Koforidua,  Cape Coast, Takoradi and Ho on climate change and the response measure adopted by the government, while ensuring the necessary change in behaviours  for a greener and more prosperous future.

The writer is Head,
Public Affairs Unit, MELR & staff of the ISD.

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