Ghana Committed To Reducing Carbon Footprints – Akufo-Addo
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has disclosed that Ghana is committed to reducing her carbon footprints, and will do all it can to win the fight against Climate Change.
Speaking at the 2nd Africa Climate Chance Summit in Accra on Thursday, he lamented that, while Africans suffer the most because their weak economies are most susceptible to the effects of climate change, their capacity to withstand its damage is also low.
“We need to take practical and proactive steps to curb human activities that are endangering our planet. We need to provide solutions that can stand the test of time in Africa. Our work is cut out for us, and we cannot fail,” he said, stressing that it is in Africa’s interests to fight decisively climate change.
Describing Climate Change as the biggest threat to the realisation of the SDGs, President Akufo-Addo explained that the issue had become an issue of grave concern to most leaders across the world, as it has considerable impact on the fundamentals required for survival on earth.
He told the African leaders at the summit that acting on climate change could not be done in isolation.
“It should be a co-ordinated effort, weaved into the sustainable development agenda of our various nations. The Paris Agreement and SDG Goal No. 13 provide the framework for us to forge ahead in this direction,” he said.
He disclosed that Ghana’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) towards combating climate change had been fully incorporated into Government’s Co-ordinated Programme for Economic and Social Development Policies (2017-2024) to facilitate their implementation.
“Indeed, all local authorities have been directed to address climate change adaptation and mitigation actions within their medium-term development plans. This is to reaffirm the critical role urban and local authorities play in addressing climate actions at the local level. It is important, also, to note that actions, as implemented by local authorities, are executed in the framework of the national priorities of climate actions in Ghana.
“We are committed to reducing Ghana’s carbon footprints, and have, thus, taken the decision to increase the renewable energy component of our energy mix to 10%, up from 1%, by 2020. The target is to install 200 megawatts of distributed solar power by 2030 in both residential and non-residential facilities, and in state agencies, in order to reduce Government’s dependence on power generated by fossil fuels,” he said.
The possibility of using nuclear energy, President Akufo-Addo told the gathering, is being considered, with a nature-based solution also at the heart of Ghana’s climate action.
He said major policy interventions such as the programme for ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’, ‘One District, One Factory’, ‘One Village, One Dam’, had been implemented not only to boost agricultural production, industrialisation and rural development, but also to build resilience to the impacts of climate change.
“We have placed a ban on illegal mining, the phenomenon we call ‘galamsey’, which has been destroying our water bodies, vegetation and our forests. Some twenty thousand (20,000) young people have been employed to help restore our degraded lands, and have, so far, planted trees covering an area of one hundred and ninety thousand (190,000) hectares”.
“I have also established an Advisory Group of prominent, private sector Chief Executives, who are setting up a $100 million SDGs Delivery Fund and a $200 million Green Fund, to complement government’s efforts at tackling climate change, and funding the implementation of the SDGs,” the President said.
He, thus, urged African leaders to prioritise climate actions in their local plans.
“Let us take action to reduce carbon emission in our cities, and let us be part of the solution to providing a better future for our children and subsequent generations to come. Implementation and combating the effects of Climate Change must be everyone’s business,” the President added.
Jubilee House, the seat of the presidency, he disclosed, would soon be powered by solar energy, as an example to other institutions or public buildings.