MESTI, GCA, others launch resilient infrastructure roadmap to mitigate climate change


A report dubbed ‘Ghana: Roadmap for Resilient Infrastructure in a Changing Climate’, has been launched in Accra to increase efforts in compacting and mitigating the impact of climate change in the country.

According to the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, the report is a roadmap that was developed through extensive multi-sectorial consultations, and presents 36 project concepts in providing an enabling environment for building a resilient infrastructural system for the country.

He said an assessment was carried out in the three sectors – energy, transport and water – which resulted in development of the roadmap with prioritised sector adaptation needs and options.

It also defines institutional interventions required to enhance the enabling environment that ensures optimum effectiveness of adaptation measures.

This aligns with Ghana’s national development objectives to advance progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement on climate change, gender and exclusivity objectives.

The report is a result of a 21-month partnership between the government of Ghana through MESTI, the Global Centre for Adaptation (GCA), the University of Oxford, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to identify and propose solutions that address priority adaptation needs in Ghana.

Ghana is focused

Dr. Kwaku Afriyie noted that the country is focused on building a more sustainable and resilient society by putting in place the necessary measures to alleviate climate change.

“Extreme weather and rapid changes to Ghana’s climate present a profound risk to key sectors of Ghana’s socio-economic development – energy, transport, waste and water. Infrastructure in these sectors is the bedrock of the country’s economic growth and development.

“Therefore, the disruption and cost to Ghana’s economy when infrastructure in these sectors is damaged or destroyed by extreme weather events have the potential to put years of progress toward growth and development targets at risk – impacting most on the poor and most vulnerable in society.

“As we embark on COVID-19 recovery, we must transform the challenges of climate change into a historic opportunity by ensuring recovery efforts are aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and goals of the Paris Agreement,” he said.

He therefore called on development partners to support implementation of the roadmap, adding that government’s effort alone will not be enough – considering the huge investment requirements recommended.

A call for action

For the CEO of Global Centre on Adaptation, Dr. Patrick Verkooijen, the roadmap’s general message is that the country has a choice to make – it either invests in resilient infrastructure, or not to invest and face significant economic damages.

He argued that the bottom-line of the report indicates that it makes economic sense to invest in resilient infrastructure in the energy, water and transport sectors.

“Nothing is more corrosive to Africa’s economy than climate change. Some of the findings from the roadmap are quite startling. Half of all of Ghana’s energy generation capacity is exposed to flooding.  Also, by 2050, climate risk could lead to US$3.9billion in damages to the transport sector – threefold the investment of US$1.3billion made in the sector for 2019.

“For us at the Global Centre on Adaptation, the real story on climate adaptation in Africa is a story of resilience, of responsibility, of solidarity, of opportunities for a safer, greener and more prosperous continent,” he said.

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