General News of Sunday, 22 June 2014
Former President J. A. Kufuor has called on governments and the private sector to take collective and immediate action to address climate change-related issues.
He said efforts should be intensified to achieve climate change-reduction targets by the middle of this century, otherwise “the world would be hit by a catastrophic event”.
“Our planet earth is in peril; it is endangered. We all have a duty to perform,” he said at an international climate change colloquium held at the University of Ghana, Legon on Friday.
It was organised by the Trans-disciplinary Research Group on Climate Change and the Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS) of the University of Ghana (UG) on the theme: “Political commitment towards 2015 global climate change agreement”.
Climate change impact
President Kufuor said climate change was likely to have catastrophic effect on agriculture and food production at a time when global population was doubling.
He observed that human activities had been a major contributory factor in climate change effects in the world.
President Kufuor, who was appointed by the UN Secretary-General last December as the UN Special Envoy on Climate Change, urged governments to show commitment and leadership to help achieve the 2015 global climate change agreements.
The agreements, among others, seek to limit overall temperature increase to below two degrees Celsius.
He asked governments to fashion out policies that would help address climate change challenges.
President Kufuor noted that climate change was increasingly becoming a political issue, and cautioned that it might spell the doom of some governments if they did not address it.
On Ghana, he said the country’s commitment to addressing climate change issues was evident in policy and principle but the implementation had always been a challenge.
In a keynote address, a former Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr Philip Acquah, said, in addressing climate change issues, it was better to make decisions based on data than discretion.
He said there was the need for a strong collaboration among African countries to enable them to effectively address their concerns.
The Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana in charge of Research, Innovation and Development, Prof. John Owusu Gyapong, said the time had come to pool resources to help address the challenges of climate change.
The Director of RIPS, Prof. Samuel Codjoe, said the institute had formed climate change clubs in some communities to help address the phenomenon.