As experts advocate inclusion of Local Governments in climate action
From: Bamidele Fashube, Abuja
AS part of efforts to reduce carbon emission and climate change impacts in the African continent, environment experts from across the globe have advocated need for the inclusion of local government authorities and rural communities in climate actions.
The experts who converged in Ghana at a three-day regional conference from 16-19, made the call at the event titled Climate Chance Summit Africa 2019, Stepping Up Local Climate Action in Africa.
The European Union (EU) jointly supported programme was organised by the Climate Chance in partnership with the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), African Development Bank (AfDB), Expertise France among others.
Nana Akufo-Ado, the Ghanaian President while declaring the conference open disclosed that his official residence, otherwise known as the Jubilee House would soon run solely on clean energy as part of the country’s resolve to implementing the Paris Agreement.
This move, he noted becomes imperative in order to promote general adoption of renewable energy across the sub-region.
“Jubilee House will soon be powered by solar energy as an example to other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs),” says Akufo-Ado while delivering his remarks at the three-day regional conference held in Ghana. “Ghana’s NDC has been incorporated into our development policy. All MDAs have been drafted to ensure climate action plans are infused into the medium term development plan.”
“It’s time to deal with the phenomenon more aggressively that we have in the past, Climate Change is a major challenge for the realization of #SDGs,” the president added.
He stressed the need to step-up actions on climate change, stressing that changes in climatic condition is frustrating developments in the continent.
Earlier, John Kufour, the former President of Ghana described the conference as a new opportunity to renew deliberate climate actions.
In his remarks, Nbou Mohammed, Head of Climate Action for the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), however, expressed concern on exclusion of LGs in decision making process on climate actions, despite high climate change vulnerability of local communities which are mostly under the purview of the LG administrators.
Aside, he decried lack of access to climate finance, such as the green funds. According to him, it would be most appropriate if the national governments and global policy makers permit local governments to make significant inputs to the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).
This, he argued further that since some of the adaptation and mitigation measures would be implemented at the local levels, inputs from the last tier of government is significant.
The Accra Declaration was eventually adopted after the three days summit.
“It calls on States to create an environment that encourages local action, banks to facilitate access to finance for local governments and non-state actors, and proposes a new approach to the necessary reassessment of national commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, based on the contribution of local authorities (local determined contributions).
“This declaration acknowledges the importance of the Climate Chance Summit – Africa, an annual meeting of African non-state actors, by proposing that the common message delivered by each Summit should now be delivered under the umbrella of the Accra Climate Dialogue.”