Negative climate change threatens sensitive sectors of economy – Minister

Dr Mustapha Ahmed, Deputy Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, on Monday said the negative impacts of climate change posed serious threats to key sensitive productive sectors of the economies of developing countries.

He said it was no doubt that it had become central to economic development in most developing countries including Ghana.

He said in Ghana, available scientific evidence showed that the negative impacts of climate change constituted a major critical risks factor to the sustainable production of cocoa, which is a major foreign exchange earner for the country.

Dr Ahmed, who was speaking at a five-day Hands-on training workshop for the Africa region on mitigation assessment in Accra, said recent studies by the World Bank and collaborated by other studies in Ghana, estimated that Ghana would need nearly $314.1 million and $420 million by 2020 and 2050 per annum to meet economy-wide adaptation costs.

The workshop, organized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is being attended by representatives from Africa and experts across the country.

He said considering the extra cost the nation required in addressing those issues, Ghana was challenged by its firm resolve to pursue policies to integrate climate change into its national development processes.

“With our resolve to address climate change, Ghana has taken very important steps both at the international and national levels to translate its commitments into concrete actions,” he said.

Dr Ahmed announced that Ghana was finalizing its national climate change policy, which is expected to provide broad vision for addressing climate change consistent with her medium term development plan.

He said the low carbon development component of the national climate change policy provided specific policy statements on Ghana’s aspiration for aligning to low carbon development pathway.

The Minister said he hoped that all-out capacity would be impacted on the various experts assembled and most importantly, use the skills acquired to influence the collective efforts to design appropriate policies and measures for the larger benefits of controlling future climate change impact and at same time propel economic development on the continent.

Mr Daniel S. Amlalo, Acting Executive Director of EPA, said Ghana’s commitments to pursue climate compatible economy, while achieving sustainable development and equitable low carbon economic growth, was well articulated in its national development strategy.

He said the commitment to pursue that vision did not only signify the priority of climate change to the government of Ghana but also demonstrated the country’s resolution to contribute to the global efforts to combat climate change.

“As a party to UNFCCC, Ghana has remained resolved to meeting its obligations under articles 4 and 12 of the Convention. We have consistently pursued this via the preparation and submission of our first and second national communications to the Conferences of Parties to the UNFCCC in 2000 and 2011 respectively, “he said

Mr Amlalo said to ensure that there was no gap in the reporting obligation, the preparation of the third national communication had commenced in 2012 with support from the Global Environment Facility.

He said through the national communication, significant high-level awareness on climate change and its nexus on sustainable development had been created and widespread technical capacities among public and private institutions had been generated.

“Above all, Ghana has been able to establish a functional national institutional arrangement to allow us to prepare our national communications on continuous basis,” he said.

He said apart from the fact that the workshop was directly beneficial to the scope of work of the working group on emission modeling and mitigation under the third national communication, it was also critically fundamental to the on-going processes for preparing and prioritizing the country’s national appropriate mitigation actions, as well as the preparation of the initial biennial update report.

Source: GNA

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