The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has outdoored the city’s first Climate Action Plan (CAP), a blueprint to mitigate the impact of climate change on the people.
The five-year Plan, which is second to be launched on the African continent and compatible with the United Nations 2015 Paris Agreement, prioritises actions on solid waste and wastewater; buildings and industry; transportation; land use and physical planning and mainstreams climate threat in development processes.
The Plan sets the city on a path to carbon neutrality by 2050 as well as restrict global temperature rise to below 1.5°C (A Paris Agreement Compliant Plan) by the end of this year 2020.
The Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, in an address at the launch of the Plan at the City Hall on Wednesday said through CAP, Accra aims to reduce emissions by 27 per cent below business-as-usual by the year 2030, 46 per cent by 2040 and attain a total reduction of 73 per cent of the business-as-usual scenario by 2050.
According to him, the Plan was developed with the principles of inclusivity, participation and ownership with contributions of all levels of society, including national, sub-national, local authorities, identifiable groups, traditional authorities, formal and informal sector operatives.
He pointed out that even though average rainfall in Accra had reduced by 2.4 per cent since 1960, the rate of flooding had increased with a 1°C rise in average temperatures, hence the need to act now to mitigate climate change.
“It is interesting to note that even though average rainfall in Accra has reduced by 2.4% since 1960, the rate of flooding has rather increased.
“The Environmental Protection Agency has further reported a 1°C rise in average temperatures since 1960. These simply mean, if we do not act now to mitigate climate change, Accra could potentially lose close to 20% of rainfall by 2050 and experience a further 21 extra days a year where temperatures average 40oC or above by 2050,” he said.
The Mayor also cited the experience and reportage of tidal erosion at beaches in Chorkor and Gbegbeyese in Accra as well as Tema, Elmina, Sekondi and Keta among others as “stark reminders of the increasing negative impacts of climate change”.
“Accra as a low-lying area would suffer the loss of coastline up to 150m inland if we experience a sea-level rise of just 20cm according to Ghana’s Third National Communication, published in 2015. The harsher droughts experienced in the north of Ghana and its attendant out-migration by our brothers and sisters are concerns that we must be aware of,” he said.
He noted that as part of the process in developing the Plan, the city developed a Global Protocol for Community-Scale Compliant Greenhouse gas inventory, which highlighted the key sources of emissions, adding that Solid Waste & Waste-Water, Transportation and Energy emerged the largest sources contributing 44%, 30% and 26% respectively of all greenhouse gas emissions from Accra using a baseline of the year 2015.
Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, who was the special guest, commended the AMA for developing a CAP, adding that mainstreaming and normalising climate actions in local level development plans would provide the basis for national level budgeting.
He said Ghana had demonstrated strong commitments to implement its 31 ambitious climate actions in the prioritised sectors of agriculture, transport, forestry, energy, health, waste, water and gender to achieve the goal of the Agreement.
“Despite the pressing challenges that confront the entire world, Ghana under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has not relented on taking serious steps to deal with climate change,” he said.
”Our flagship programmes on forest plantation, planting for food and jobs, one-village-one-dam and one-district-one factory are all geared toward boosting green industrialization and rural development as well as building resilience to the impacts of climate change, ” he added.