Anxiety engulfs US$16.5bn climate finance deficit

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Arid and dry cracked land due to climate change and global warming - An ecological disaster

By Wisdom JONNY-NUEKPE

There are growing concerns over the significant financing deficit currently hindering the country’s efforts to meet its nationally determined contributions (NDCs) for combatting climate change.

The total cost for meeting Ghana’s NDCs between 2020 and 2030, as part of the Paris Agreement, is estimated at US$22billion.

Addressing participants at the Citizens’ Convention, orgaised by the African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET) to discuss the Ghana Compact’s themes, a Senior Fellow at ACET, John Asafu-Adjaye, said the country could only afford to raise US$5.5billion of climate financing’s total cost for the stated period.

“This basically means that we are able to meet only 25 percent of climate financing cost from domestic sources, with a deficit of some US$16.6billion. This deficit and financing gap must be met from external sources,” he said.

Meanwhile, stakeholders have blamed the financing gap on poor domestic revenue mobilisation and improper streamlining.

Mr Asafu-Adjaye said in order to help consolidate the social contract on climate change mitigation, farmers must be assisted in adapting to climate smart agriculture – while government and the private sector must accelerate financing as well as developing gender-sensitive climate mitigation measures.

“There is a need to scale up climate smart agriculture practices, accelerate financing through bankable projects and pass the Affirmative Action bill to empower women in agriculture and climate action,” he noted.

The World Bank has estimated that the number of hotter days and nights in Ghana is likely to increase by 18-59 percent by 2050.

These trends, according to climate watchers,  imply that the country is expected to be hotter and drier over the long-term if critical steps are not taken to address climate risks.

But Mr Asafu-Adjaye said the situation could be more worrying because Ghana’s agriculture is primarily rain-fed.

“The consequences of these will be a reduction of critical food staples such as plantain, maize, beans and rice which thrive in cool climate,” he indicated.

Given that 52 percent of the population is involved in agriculture, the climate crisis seriously threatens livelihoods as its impacts could affect soil quality and lead to destructive rainfall patterns among others.

Data from ACET have indicated that despite a surge in global cocoa prices since last year, high temperatures and heavy rains caused a significant decline in cocoa production during the 2023 crop season. This affected has the country’s ability to meet its targets.

Indeed, Ghana has been promoting climate smart agriculture for well over a decade; however, experts have agreed that appropriate new technologies need to be identified and scaled up.

There are persistent challenges of farmers facing low or no access to credit, land tenure insecurities, limited access to land and inadequate infrastructure such as irrigation, rural roads and storage facilities.

About the Citizens’ Convention

The two-day conference was held on June 18-19, 2024 in Accra, and discussed the country’s Compact thematic areas – including health, education, climate change and private sector development among others.

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