The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Ghana, Henry Kwabena Kokofu has said Climate Change was one of the defining development issues of all time and also another pandemic in awaiting should the international community fail to act fast with ambitions translated into actions.
According to him, it was time the international community put its best foot forward to make climate change count by ensuring that measures to combat it were key development priorities for every nation.
He said all nation must play a role in ensuring that the temperature of the would did not exceed the 1.5-degree goal by scaling up adaptation actions, mobilising finance for climate action and finalising Paris Agreement rule book.
Mr. Kokofu who made these statements at the press briefing on the upcoming 26th United Nation Climate Change Conference (COP26) said COP 26 was a fine opportunity to deliver hope to the world.
He said Ghana for the first time would be sending a led by the President His Excellency Nana Akuffo Addo to participate in a Climate Change Conference to show the world the action it has taken as well as those she was about to take in order to avert the menace of climate change
He added that the Ghana team would consist of the Minister for Science, Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, representatives from different Ministries, Academia, the Private sector and Civil Society Organization (CSOs).
He said that the EPA has been instrumental in preparing the Ghana team ahead of COP26 and would coordinate the activities of the team at the Conference.
He mentioned that activities for the COP 26 which would be held in Glasgow, Scotland included the World Leader Summit which would attend by His Excellency Nana Addo; UK Presidency Programmes such as Sustainable Energy Day, Forestry Day, Climate Action Day, Finance and Private sector Day; and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiation.
On her part, the Chargé d’affaires for the British High Commission to Ghana Madam Beth Cadman said it was really important that Ghana’s voice is heard at COP voice because her voice was vital to spur action particular among African countries.
She said the team of Climate Change negotiators for Ghana was very influential within the African Group of Negotiators, and they would be sending clear messages about the need for climate finance to Ghana and other African countries as well as the urgency of adaptation to the climate change since it was already happening.
He said even though Ghana was a country with little responsibility for creating the climate change crisis, she was under real and present threat from climate change.
“One fact we have persistently been highlighting is the risk that 75% of Ghana’s cocoa growing land will be unviable with a 1.5-degree rise- and that is our most optimistic scenario”, she added.
Madam Cadman said the UK was doing what was needed to limit the world to 1.5 degrees of warming by working hard to reach its target of $100 billion for climate finance very year, as well as reducing her carbon emissions through the law it passed in June 2021 to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 and the 2050 net zero emissions strategy it had announce.
She further stated that the UK has set out measures to help move business and consumers to clean power, to create hundreds of thousands of good, green jobs which would result to up to £90 billion of private investment by 2030.
She hinted that the fight against was gradually gathering momentum with the recent commitment of China to halt overseas coal financing, and announcement by Turkey in September, that she would ratify the 2015 Paris Agreement.
“On top of that we have seen dozens of countries, including Ghana, working to publish updated and more ambitious National Determined Contributions (NDCs)”, she added.