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General News of Friday, 18 October 2019

Source: ghananewsagency.org

Ghana committed to fighting climate change - Akufo-Addo

Ghana is committed to reducing her carbon footprint and will contribute significantly towards the fight against climate change, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.

He said the world faced a climate emergency, and it was utmost that urgent steps are taken to mitigate the effect of climate change, as it had considerable impact on the fundamentals required for survival on earth.

Speaking at the opening of the 2019 Africa Climate Chance Summit in Accra, President Akufo-Addo noted that Africa’s capacity to withstand the effects of climate change phenomenon was law, because of the weak nature of the continent’s economies.

He said it was in Africa’s interest to fight climate change, saying, “We, in Africa, suffer the most because our weak economies are most susceptible to the effects of climate change, and our capacity to withstand its damage is low...We need to take practical and proactive steps to curb human activities that are endangering our planet. We need to provide solutions that can stand the test of time in Africa.”

The President told the gathering that the fight against climate demanded a co-ordinated approach, with countries incorporating that agenda into their development goals, as envisaged under the Paris Agreement and UN’s SDG’s.

He said his government was taking steps to reduce carbon emissions and had taken a decision to increase the country's renewable energy component in the energy mix from one per cent to 10 per cent by 2020.

“The target is to install 200 megawatts of distributed solar power in both residential and non-residential facilities and in state agencies in order to reduce government's dependence on power represented by fuel fossils.

“Jubilee House, the seat of the President, will soon be powered by solar energy as an example to other institutions and public buildings. The possibility of using nuclear energy is also being considered," he indicated.

Furthermore, Government banned illegal mining that is degrading water bodies, vegetation and forest, with some 20,000 youth employed to restore degraded lands across the country.

The President also spoke about major policy interventions such as the programme for Planting for Food and Jobs, the One District-One Factory, One Village-One Dam interventions that were implemented to boost agricultural production and industrialisation to build Ghana’s resilience to the impact of climate change.

“I have also established an Advisory Group of prominent, private sector Chief Executives, who are setting up a $100 million SDGs Delivery Fund and a $200 million Green Fund, to complement government’s efforts at tackling climate change, and funding the implementation of the SDGs,” the President said.

Urging the Summit, attended by Mayors major cities and heads of local authorities of major cities in Sub-Saharan Africa to prioritise climate actions in their local plans, President Akufo-Addo said “Let us take action to reduce carbon emission in our cities, and let us be part of the solution to providing a better future for our children and subsequent generations to come.”

“Implementation and combating the effects of Climate Change must be everyone’s business,” he said.

The President appealed to the public to take climate change seriously since it threatened the country's economic development and the survival of the entire human race.

"The action to combat climate change must be everyone's business-from the government and the public sector, security services, religious organisations, private sector, labour organisations, professional associations, special interest groups, civil society organsiations, to individual communities in the country," he said.

The summit, under the auspices of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, is being held under the theme: “Stepping up local climate action in Africa”.

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