Public Agenda (Accra)

28 September 2012

Ghana: Gov't Committed to Tackling Climate Change Issues

The Government has reiterated its commitment to tackling climate change issues and their impacts on the environment as well as on the economy. The Deputy Minister for Environment Science and Technology, Dr Mustahpa Ahmed, assured Ghanaians of the commitment in Accra.

Dr Ahmed made this known in a speech read on his behalf during an inter-governmental consultation workshop on near-term climate protection and clean air benefits in Africa organised by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC).The workshop brought together participants from across the continent, including Benin, Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia and Ghana.

He said by being a member of the CCAC, the opportunity exists for Ghana to leverage experiences, expertise, technical and financial support from other members and partners of the coalition to develop strategies and pursue concerted action to address emission of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) and the socio-economic and environmental challenges associated with these pollutants.

He said measures for addressing emission of SLCPs had added benefits or co-benefits, with implications for the socio-economic dynamics of any country beyond the gains associated with climate change. "The need for collaboration to gain the necessary momentum and scale so as to make the gains visible and felt in the lives of ordinary people and local communities is of paramount importance and hence the call on all countries who are willing to join forces to address SLCPs," he stated.

The Co-Chair of CCAC, Mrs Bahijjahtu Abubakar, explained that SLCPs were substances emitted into the atmosphere as a result of human activities which had impacts on climate change and adverse implications for public health and agricultural productivity.

Mrs Abubakar said implementing measures to substantially reduce concentrations of methane, black carbon and tropospheric ozone in the atmosphere would have substantial and immediate health, crop yield and other environmental benefits for Africa.

Another benefit Mrs Abubakar mentioned included "their reduction, along with reductions in the emissions of many HFCs would help reduce near-term warming and climate impacts across Africa and globally over the next few decades. At a global scale it is clear that these actions need to be complemented by deep and rapid cuts in carbon dioxide emissions if global mean temperature increases over the 21st century is to be held below 20C."

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