Ghana developing low carbon emissions growth plan – Minister
Ms Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST), on Tuesday, said government would take immediate steps to address national capacity gaps relating to institutional and systemic capacities as well as human resource needs for climate change.
She said government was developing a low carbon emissions growth plan which would anchor Ghana’s sustainable development agenda to focus not only on the industrial and the transportation sectors, but also ensure energy efficiency in households.
Ms Ayittey was addressing the meet-the-press series on the outcome of the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit held in December last year in Denmark.
She said though the summit could not deliver the optimum output as expected, the attendance of about 110 Heads of State and Government clearly demonstrated global political willingness to act collectively on the issue of climate change.
The Minister indicated that a major issue at the summit, was the need to address climate change through a multi-lateral process, and the fact that the UN climate change process was the only legitimate forum to hold such discussions.
She said the summit would have been a great achievement, if the Copenhagen Accord that embodied useful elements that set the stage for future international negotiations which provided a solid foundation and sound political direction had been unanimously adopted as a decision of the Conference of Parties (COP).
Ms Ayittey mentioned the agreement to establish the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund as the financial mechanism of the Convention and measures that would provide access to the funds by developing countries under the guidance and authority of the COP, as a major political breakthrough.
“The promise of 30 billion dollars for the period 2010-2012 and 100 billion dollars annually by 2020 opens up windows of opportunities for Ghana to source funding for the implementation of climate change related socio-economic development interventions”.
“In particular is the implementation of the already prioritised climate change adaptation and mitigation projects and programmes, disaster risk assessment, management and the REDD-plus readiness plan,” she said.
The Minister said on the local scene, Ghana would establish a climate fund which would involve the creation of a gender fund to assist women and children and other vulnerable groups as a means to support mitigation and adaptation actions.
“Government is not only prepared to cut down on deforestation and forest degradation by 40 per cent, but also has committed one per cent of the District Assemblies Common Fund to massive tree planting in 100 districts this year,” she said.
Ms Ayittey said the Ministry as part of its programme to ensure awareness creation, would sponsor 20 journalists to specialize in environmental reporting to ensure a more aggressive climate change campaign.