Ghana and the United Kingdom have reaffirmed their partnership on climate adaptation and resilience ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) in November.
The two countries took the stance after Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the UK International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency and Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, completed a three-day working visit to Ghana.
The visit comes ahead of the UK hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) in November, leveraging the UK’s presidency to accelerate climate action – including a particular focus on adaptation and resilience in the most vulnerable parts of the world.
The climate in Ghana over the next few decades is projected to be hotter, with a gradual increase in the average minimum and maximum temperature in all agroecological zones of the country; while the mean annual rainfall in all agro-ecological zones is projected to reduce by about 10%.
As a result, drought, higher temperatures and erratic rainfall are expected to negatively impact infrastructure, hydropower production, food security and coastal and agricultural livelihoods.
Despite the country’s recent transition to an industry and services-oriented economy, 45 percent of the workforce still depends on rain-fed agriculture. The most cost-effective and sustainable way to address the climate challenge in Ghana is to incorporate adaptation planning into development policies, plans and programmes.
As a step toward adaptation, Ghana is preparing an Adaptation Communication (ADCOM) – in advance of COP 26 and to inform synthesis reporting for the Global Stocktake (GST) under the Paris Agreement.
The purpose of the ADCOM will be to enhance the visibility and profile of adaptation in Ghana; provide input to the GST; strengthen adaptation action and support; and enhance learning and understanding of adaptation needs and actions.
Speaking after the visit, Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “Ghana feels the impacts of climate change first-hand, but has shown inspiring ambition and commitment to tackling climate change. It’s been incredible to see practical and effective on-the-ground action to adapt and build resilience to climate impacts, and to hear from ministers, businesses and civil society about the challenges and opportunities.
“The UK welcomes Ghana to the Adaptation Action Coalition and looks forward to publication of the Adaptation Communication. I am excited to continue our collaboration to drive global action ahead of COP26.”
Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation said: “The most cost-effective and sustainable way to address the climate challenge in Ghana is to incorporate adaptation planning into development policies, plans and programmes.
“Ghana has responded to this call positively, by putting in place systems to address adaptation needs in our development discourse. The goal is to integrate adaptation into policies and plans for climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water, health, energy, among others,” he added.
“As we strive to meet our adaptation needs, we will work with partners such as the UK to deliver on our adaptations goals,” the minster said.