US$1.3bn needed to build resilience against climate change – GCA

  • or risk losing US$13bn for inaction

To build resilient infrastructure toward mitigating the dire consequences of climate change, Ghana requires at least US$1.3billion to implement its roadmap for climate adaptation, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Centre on Adaptation, Prof. Patrick Verkooijen, has said.

He also added that failing to take action will cost the country US$13billion. On this basis, Prof. Patrick Verkooijen stated that Ghana must act now or face the consequences of the climate impact.

“Does it make economic sense to invest in climate adaptation? Does it make economic sense to invest in resilient infrastructure? The short answer is yes. And here are the numbers, if you look at the existing infrastructure portfolio in Ghana, if you look at the existing access, the existing roads, railways, energy system, and water supply system, resilience to climate shocks will cost roughly US$1.3billion. But the alternative reality if it does not invest in making the infrastructure resilient is US$13billion.

“So, there is a very simple choice to be made for Ghana, for Africa, and for the world. We either delay and pay or we plan and prosper”, he said at a press briefing in Accra on the topic: “Financing Climate Resilient Infrastructure in Ghana”.

“US$1.3bn is a lot of money, and cannot be mobilised exclusively out of government’s expenditures, it needs to be a joint effort by the private sector and development partners. The short message is this, Ghana has no choice, but to invest now in making its infrastructure resilient,” he added.

The climate adaptation solution institution collaborated with government and released a report earlier this year titled: “Ghana: Roadmap for Resilient Infrastructure in a Changing Climate”, which details the impact of climate change on key sectors of the country’s socio-economic development, including energy, transportation and water.

Nature-based solutions

Prof. Verkooijen noted that building resilient infrastructure also has to do with working with nature or adapting nature-based solutions.

“It does not make sense to build new roads which will be washed away when the next rains are coming; so it is smart economics again to have watershed protection around the roads, planting trees … nature-based solution for infrastructure.

There is no alternative than climate resilience and a climate-smart development pathway because climate and development are two sides of the same coin. You cannot grow your economy and you cannot develop jobs without taking into account the climate risks, the physical risk of droughts and floods, and storms of today and tomorrow. So, this is the only way to go forward,” he said.


Prof. Patrick Verkooijen said given the difficulties in accessing the over US$10billion Green Climate Fund, which was to support vulnerable countries, his outfit intends to support financial institutions to secure accreditations to enable the country to tap into the fund.

“So that is why, as part of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme, we are supporting financial institutions to understand the rules of the game to get accredited and at the same time develop the proposals. So here in Ghana, we’re working with the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund to get them accredited and to develop the proposal now in parallel so that when they’re fit for purpose, the proposal is there so money can flow to Ghana in this instance to invest in resilient infrastructure,” he said.


Leave a Reply