Ghana would require about $22.6 billion to be able to reduce two million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the atmosphere, Ms. Patricia Appiagyei, Deputy Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation has said.
She said the country had already taken the lead as the first African country with 31 nationally determined contributions comprising of 20 mitigation actions and 11 adaptation actions to reduce CO2 releases in the system.
Carbon dioxide is a colorless gas with a density of 60 percent higher than that of dry air which enters the atmosphere from burning wood, waste materials and some industrial processes such as cement production.
Ms. Appiagyei was speaking at the opening of a two-day Outreach event on climate change for Africa organized by the United Nations University’s Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), IPCC and the African Academy of Sciences with support from the University of Ghana (UG) in Accra on Thursday.
It brought together climate change experts from Liberia, the Gambia and Senegal to discuss the significance and Implications of the Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on global warming 1.5 degree Celsius for Africa.
She projected that Ghanaian cocoa farms would be greatly affected by the impact of climate change hence the need for transformational steps to be taken to reverse the two-degree Celsius trends.
The minister stressed the need for Ghana to use water sustainably, and take advantage of the numerous trans-boundary rivers as a gateway to enterprise and create blue and green jobs
“We cannot make change happen without science, science needs to be applied in order to meet our overall development goals in Africa, and we need to democratise scientific knowledge to be able to manage climate change,” she stated.
Professor Patrick Ayeh-Kumi, a Provost of the College of Health Sciences at the UG, said Africa would be the region to be hit hardly by climate impacts, even though the level of green gas emissions has been minimal historically.
Climate change was according to him projected to cost Africa an equivalent of two to four percent annual loss in its Gross Domestic Profit (GDP) by 2040.
“The geographical position of Africa, in addition to widespread poverty and limited adaptive capacity makes economic growth and livelihood prospects vulnerable to climate impacts and most countries that rely on natural resources for their main stay are at risk,” he said.
The provost said for Ghana, historical, data from 1961 to 2010 showed a progressive rise in temperature and a reduction in the mean annual rainfall throughout the country
He said Ghana was presently experiencing climate change impacts in the form of rising temperatures, reduction in rainfall and increased variability, rising sea levels and high incidence of extreme weather events and disaster.
Mr. Ayeh-Kumi said agriculture, which was Ghana’s largest employer was heavily impacted by decreasing quantity and high variability in rainfall as a result of climate change which has affected crop production in all agro-ecological zones.
He said the IPCC report emphasised that science was indeed the cornerstone for development, stating that ‘the IPCC projections for the continent predicts that warming of 2 degree Celsius would likely result in undernourishment for over 50 percent of Africa’s population’.