Climate change report on Ghana launched
The country can pursue its development objectives while considering the challenges of climate change and the opportunities from its transition following the launch of the World Bank Group Country Climate Change Report on Ghana.
The Ghana Report is the second to be launched in Africa, after that on Rwanda.
According to the 68-page report, addressing the country's low emissions and major financing constraints in the short term should focus on bolstering resilience of its economy and society and also avoiding the creation of additional risks, among others.
It also called for the strengthening of institutional capacity for climate action and legal framework, as well as unlocking private climate financing.
In addition, it underscored the need to integrate agricultural development and forest and water management, while creating conditions for resilient cities and infrastructure.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Jinapor, who was speaking at the launch of the report in Accra yesterday, said the launch was timely, coming at the time preparations were being wrapped up for the COP 27 event in Cairo, Egypt.
“We will study the recommendations as they relate to the ministry’s mandate and continue to work with all stakeholders, including the World Bank, to address the challenges of climate change for a more integrated and sustainable landscape management,” he said.
According to him, climate change had been identified as the most significant threat to sustainable development, dragging millions of people into poverty, adding: “If we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), then we must tackle climate change head-on.”
Mr Jinapor said although the country’s contribution to global emissions was minimal, estimated at 0.04 per cent, most of the emissions were attributed to agricultural, forestry and land use (AFOLU) activities.
The World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Pierre Laporte, said the bank was already supporting Ghana to address climate change and build resilience.
“Our current portfolio stands at US$3.3bn, with strong engagements in disaster risk management, urban development, landscape management, forestry, water supply, social protection, food systems, among others.
“As part of the Climate Change Action Plan 2021-2025, we aim to step up our commitment to the climate agenda and also align all World Bank projects to the Paris Agreement by the end of this fiscal year,” he said.
Mr Laporte further said Ghana’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions was little, with emissions on a per capita basis at 24 per cent of the global average.
“Nonetheless, Ghana will be disproportionally affected by climate change without action; at least more than one million people could fall into poverty due to climate shocks, while incomes could reduce by up to 40 per cent for poor households,” he said.
The report also estimated that the additional cost of climate action was equivalent to between two and three per cent of cumulative GDP until 2050.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, said 20 per cent of the wealth of vulnerable countries had been eroded away, adding: “So we are at a very crucial point in which those who have contributed least to this scourge that we are facing are going to have to be responsible to pay for it.”
He, however, said there was a certain level of acknowledgement of transiting from mitigation to adaptation, which he said was necessary.
In a video presentation, the Senior Leader, Sustainable Development of the World Bank, Lorenzo Carrera, said climate change was a global crisis, and that the choices made today would influence the future.