President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on African countries to collaborate and start taking bold steps to tackle the adverse effects of climate change on the continent.
“For the sake of today’s generation and generations yet
unborn, we have a solemn duty to take immediate, bold and concrete steps to
protect global climate from warming beyond unreasonable limits.”
“It is in the interest of African nations to consider the
economic fortune of the continent and step up their collective effort to fight
decisively global warming,” President Akufo-Addo said at the opening of
the high-level session of the on-going African Climate Week 2019 (ACW) in Accra
The weeklong event, on the theme “Climate
Change action in Africa: A race we can win” has since Monday, created
the platform for discussion on how to advance national climate
action plans, also known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), under
the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change and Sustainable Development Goal 13
on climate action, among other goals.
Organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC), about 2,000 participants from across the world are in
attendance including government officials, policy makers, investors and
representatives of the UNFCCC, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and
the World Bank.
The President, who is also a UN Co-chair for Eminent Group of
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Advocates, said the climate change was
perhaps the biggest threat to the realisation of the goals and in view of this,
called for a coordinated effort to help to overcome it.
He said Africa was suffering the highest impact of climate
change because agriculture, water and energy which were essential drivers of
developments and economies were at the same time sensitive to the changing
President Akufo-Addo said it was imperative for all Africans
to protect, restore and promote the sustainable use of terrestrial eco-system,
sustainable land forest, and combat desertification and stop land degradation
He said the recent report by the Inter-governmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) which said the global community had only 12 years to stop
climate change, called for aggressive steps on climate change.
“While we strive to do our bit to halt climate change
at the national level, we expect also a lot to be done at the international
level. One major issue of concern to us is the need to streamline access to
international climate finance to complement national funding,” he said
Mr Michal Kurtyka, COP24 President urged countries to
practicalise their NDCs and take bold steps for the sake of posterity.
“We need to step up because we have a very short time,
about 12 years, available to us to hit alarming warming of the climate around
the world,” Mr Ovais Sarmad, Deputy Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, said.
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) said government’s efforts to mitigate climate change to include tree planting to decrease deforestation, construction of sea defence, promotion of clean stoves and irrigation projects had led to the reduction of two million tonnes of greenhouse gas over the last few years.
BY YAW KYEI AND JONATHAN DONKOR
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