President Akufo-Addo has disclosed that Ghana recognizes the impact and effects of climate change on the environment and the need for concerted efforts globally to combat it.
According to him, climate change is the greatest threat to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals. This, President Akufo-Addo explained, is due to its enormous impact on the “fundamentals” required for survival on earth.
“Ghana acknowledges the importance and effects of Climate Change, and the urgent need to combat it, and we acknowledge equally the importance of protecting our development. We believe that a balance must be struck and maintained between our social, economic and environmental imperatives”.President Akufo-Addo
Speaking at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP 26, currently ongoing in Glasgow, Scotland, the President concerted to the fact that despite Africa contributing “less than 4%” to the global “volume of carbon emissions”, the continent suffers the most.
Agriculture, water, energy, and the extraction of mineral resources, the President indicated, are important drivers of developments in African countries. That notwithstanding, he noted that they are typically sensitive to changing climate.
“… Because our agrarian and resource-driven economies are peculiarly susceptible to the effects of climate change, and our capacity to withstand its shocks is weak”.President Akufo-Addo
Exploitation of natural resources
Following the African Development Bank’s statement that Ghana will need some US$3 trillion “in mitigation and adaptation by 2030”, President Akufo-Addo questioned how Africa will finance these commitments, especially as its “socio-economic development” continues to be low.
The President disclosed that in spite of the continent being blessed “with abundant natural resources”, it would be unfair for the world to demand that “Africa abandons the exploitation of these same resources needed to finance her development”.
“The development and industrialisation of the wealthy nations of today were also hinged on the exploitation of their natural resources. This development came at the expense of pollution and the emission of greenhouse gases. Even today, the western world is responsible for 76% of carbon emissions”.President Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo underscored Africa’s disappointment on the failure of “wealthy nations” to honour their commitments in making available $100 billion annually to the poorer countries to assist the continent in the fight against climate change.
Those same nation, according to the President, are insisting that the continent abandons the “opportunity for rapid development” of its economies. Following this, President Akufo-Addo acknowledged that will be tantamount to “enshrining inequality” and a “totally unacceptable conclusion”.
“We must find a solution that is equitable and fair; a solution that levels the playing field; a solution that recognises the historical imbalances between the high emitters and low emitters. Ghana, therefore, supports the call for debt-for-climate swaps, which will address a multitude of issues in one fell swoop.”President Akufo-Addo
In concluding, President Akufo-Addo urged world leaders to use COP 26 as a turning point to create a more “prosperous, greener and fairer” world. He stressed the need for the leaders to maintain the balance between the social, economic and environmental requirements of all nations of the earth whether rich and poor.
“Success, in this endeavour, is the greatest inheritance we can leave for current and future generations”.President Akufo-Addo