C’ttee to harmonise climate change activities inaugurated

BY: Musah Yahaya Jafaru
• Mr Mahama Ayariga (head of table) inaugurating the climate change steering committee in Accra. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR

A 14-member committee has been inaugurated to mainstream climate change activities of the various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

The committee, chaired by an environmental scientist, Dr Duah Yentumi, is also required to direct the implementation of the National Climate Change Policy (NCCP).

The policy seeks to position the country to achieve food security, disaster preparedness and response, natural resource management, equitable social development, as well as energy, industrial and infrastructural development.

Other members of the committee are from the various ministries, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and ABANTU for Development, a civil society organisation.

Resource management

Inaugurating the committee in Accra yesterday, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr Mahama Ayariga, stressed the need for Ghanaians to manage their resources judiciously in a manner that would protect the interest of future generations.

He said it was in that light that the ministry developed the NCCP and a strategy outlining the programmes and actions needed to be taken to create awareness of the consequences of climate change and encourage people to adopt environment-friendly activities.

For instance, he said, women could be educated to discard the practice of using firewood as fuel and go in for alternative means of fuel.

Mr Ayariga said the committee was expected to mainstream what all the ministries were doing with regard to climate change management.

“Let every ministry appreciate climate change issues in its policies and programmes, so that we can pursue a low-carbon economy,” he said.

Activities on climate change

The minister announced that President John Mahama would, next month, attend the United Nations General Assembly to sign the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which had a component on climate change.

He said the President would also go to France in December 2015 to sign the Global Compact to spell out Ghana’s commitment to help the climate.

He, therefore, urged the MDAs to intensify efforts at addressing climate challenges to position the country to fulfill its promises towards the issue.

Dr Yentumi, who is a former Head of the Energy and Environment Desk of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Accra, said climate change threatened economic gains, as well as the social well-being of people.

Therefore, he said, the committee would provide a forum for discussions and consultations on climate change and also explore sources of funding to support the implementation strategies in the NCCP.

He said the committee would explore other projects and programmes “that will champion the cause of the climate change debate in the country”.