The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles has appealed to Ghana to use its influence in Africa to lead a continental action against the devastating effects of climate change.
He said the planet would become toxic for future generations if deliberate actions were not taken to address global warming and the indiscriminate pollution of the ocean with plastic waste.
Prince Charles, who is on a four-day visit, said this yesterday when he delivered a public lecture in Accra on the theme "The Commonwealth: Towards a Common Future."
Present at the lecture were President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the three former presidents, J.J Rawlings, J.A Kufuor, and J.D Mahama, among other dignitaries and a cross section of the public.
According to the Prince of Wales, the impact of climate change and global warming are already being felt by far too many Commonwealth citizens by the terrifying hurricanes and cyclones.
"The effects of climate change are being felt everyday by people across this continent with increasing erratic weather patterns, representing a growing threat to food security and triggering the mass migration of millions of people."
"It is profoundly worrying, for instance, that Lake Chad is today just one tenth of the size it was only a few decades ago," he said and added that the situation, combined with the spread of the Sahara Desert, had displaced an entire population.
The Prince said many countries across the world faced similar depressing challenges and stressed the need for the Commonwealth members to coordinate their response to address the disaster.
He said although it was essential to prepare for the effects of climate-induced disaster, countries must work to tackle the underlying causes which meant, among other things, establishing the proper price for carbon and addressing the polluter pays principles.
He underscored the need for countries to design products that could be recycled and put in place planning systems, infrastructure and incentives to address the environmental impacts of their activities.
According to the Prince, eight million tonnes of waste enters the ocean every year and added that if the situation was not addressed, there will soon be a situation where, for every three tonnes of fish in the sea, there would be one tonne of plastic.
"We must find a way to protect and conserve our ocean and develop a truly sustainable approach to the blue economy," he said and indicated that the approach would protect the ecosystem and stimulate economic growth.
Prince Charles said Ghana could play a lead role in addressing the issue in Africa, and, indeed, the Commonwealth at large.
He indicated that countries, especially members of the Commonwealth, had key roles to play in the global action of ensuring that plastics did not enter into the oceans.
The Prince of Wales touched on the potential of the Commonwealth, the challenges, and its ability to transform its challenges into opportunities for the benefit of its citizens.
He said the Commonwealth had over two billion citizens and indicated that 60 per cent of that population was less than the age of 30.
Although the development presented an immense potential to the Commonwealth, he said there was also the risk of unemployment and alienation.
"We need to empower young people through personal development programme, and skills training. These provide tremendous opportunities for our people," he added.