Theme: Climate Change
Ghana on Wednesday launched this year’s Africa Climate Week celebration as a lead-up to the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in September this year.
The Africa Week celebration, slated for March 18 to 22, would be held at the Accra International Conference Centre, on the theme: “Climate Action in Africa: A Race We Can Win.”
It would discuss the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Africa Climate Week (ACW) would jointly be organised by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, United Nations Climate Change Office, the World Bank, Africa Development Bank and United Nations Development Programme and would assemble diverse actors from the public and private sectors.
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, at a media launch of the ACW in Accra, said the occasion would be used to raise the climate profile within government by highlighting the Nationally Determined Contributions.
He said the event would have a high-level session to demonstrate innovations the country had undertaken in climate change, the achievement, challenges and areas for possible partnership.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng reiterated the indispensable risk climate change posed to all facets of the nation’s development including water, agriculture, infrastructure and energy.
“These days, the weather is on record to have become warmer than in the past,” he said.
“Rainfalls are increasingly becoming uncertain. Studies have revealed that future climate changes are likely to get intense. Farmers across the country complain that they can no longer rely on the mercies of the weather to plan when to plant as they used to do in the past”.
Climate change, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng explained, was mainly caused by human activities including illegal mining that had led to deforestation, traffic congestion, and improper waste disposal that results in the releases of greenhouse gases.
To ameliorate the effects of climate change head-on, the Minister said government had taken an ambitious multi-sectoral climate plan as part of the nation’s contribution towards the Paris Agreement.
Mr John Pwamang, the Acting Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, giving further details, said there would be a high-level discussion among the African ministers, development partners, and international investors on the strategies to mobilise adequate finance for the implementation of the national climate actions.
The meeting, he said, would feature a series of technical discussions on the global efforts to deal with climate change impacts and the outcome were expected to inform the upcoming Climate Change Summit in September 2019 in New York as part of the UN General Assembly deliberations.
As part of the meeting, there would be side events where scientists and social research practitioners would present research findings and share lessons on climate change related topics.
The ACW represents the first major climate-orientated event in 2019 to promote the programme’s ‘guidelines’ to practically implement the Paris Agreement.
Mr Moukaila Moubarak, a Representative of UNFCC, said the event would serve as an avenue where all the actors from Africa would have the opportunity to share experiences and lessons on the policy, practice, and progress on the climate change action.
He said it would help in the completion of operational elements that include the ramping-up of national ambition relating to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to the inevitable impacts of climate change and support for developing countries to take climate action.
These according to Mr Moubarak would be critical to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and, ultimately, keep the global average temperature rise to as close as 1.5 degrees.
All are encouraged to register via www.regionalclimateweek.com to participate.
By Yaw Ansah/Portia Addo, GNA