“A climate sensitive budget must be seen to be clear in communicating how it is addressing sectoral, community, households and individual vulnerability to climate change, while promoting climate resilience.
“It must be seen to be building the adaptive capacities of communities,” Mr Charles Agboklu, Member of Ghana CAN, said at a press conference in Accra.
Ghana CAN is a coalition of civil society organizations working on climate change with a focus on adaptation. It includes Religious Bodies Network on Climate Change, Development Institute and the Ghana Wildlife Society.
Mr Agboklu said since climate change was known to be the greatest developmental challenge of the 21st century with its manifestations such as severe droughts, floods, extreme temperatures and rising sea levels, it had become necessary for the national budget to “have clear and comprehensive interventions towards reducing climate vulnerability.
He said the manifestations which were now visible in Ghana had implications for food security, health, water security, shelter and livelihoods of individuals, households and communities.
Ghana CAN, however, commended government for the studies and measures undertaken to understand the causes and effects of climate change in terms of Green House Emissions, vulnerability, and adaptation to climate change in various sectors among other interventions.
He said: “All these give an impression that Ghana is poised and willing to tackle and manage climate risks. However, these documentary efforts can only be brought to fruition or translated into real actions through the annual budget statement and its effective implementation”.
He said the national budget should have both technical and financial attachments and there was also the need to communicate such interventions in climate sensitive language to ensure tracking as well as to build public confidence in government’s efforts towards a climate resilient economy.
Mr Agboklu said the various ministries and intergovernmental agencies should rise up to the occasion and coordinate their activities with clear cut programmes like educating the people, especially the farmers and individual citizens about climate change effects and how to cope with it.
The Coalition recommended that revenue raised from the environmental tax with climate change as a justification should be used beyond managing sanitation and cover climate change adaption.
The Ministry of Finance was asked to make its climate change unit more active while considering steps to initiate a local climate adaptation fund.
Ghana CAN further urged the Ministry of Information to organise mass education on climate change issues.