29 January 2018

Ghana to make its climate policies legally binding

Ghana is considering enshrining its climate policies into law so as to send the right message to development agencies that the country is committed to climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.

In an interview with the Xinhua news agency Peter Dery, Head of Climate Change and Sustainable Development Unit of the Ministry of Environment warned that until regulations are turned into laws their enforcement would face more challenges.

“The issue has to do with enforcement. What we are beginning to do now is to turn the policy into legally mandatory instruments like laws. So we are looking, for example, at revising the Building Code to ensure that some of the things in the policy reflect in the new Building Regulation”, he revealed.

The interview took place after a meeting regarding the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme- an initiative aimed at supporting the efforts of developing countries respond to climate change.

The Readiness Programme was rolled out in June 2015 and comprised a series of workshops on climate policies and procedures.

The Ministry of Finance has collaborated with the Ministry of Environment to enhance Ghana’s capacity to access international climate finance, including the Green Climate Fund.

Some of the institutions which have been involved are the Energy Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Forestry Commission. These bodies have submitted the “Accelerating Solar Action Programme”, the “Resilient Landscapes for Sustainable Livelihoods Programme” and the Ghana Shea Landscapes REDD+ Project aimed at reducing emissions from deforestation.

Adwoa Fraikue, Head of Natural Resource, Environmental and Climate Change at the Ministry of Finance, said that Ghana recognises its vulnerabilities from the impacts of climate change and it has been working hard to mitigate the risks even before the launch of the Green Climate Fund facility.  

“We are aware of rainfall destroying our agriculture; we are aware of flooding affecting our cities and villages; sea erosion washing away our coastal communities; and the destruction of infrastructure”, she said.  

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