Asking poorer nations not to exploit natural resources for dev’t unacceptable – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed disappointment in the West for not fulfilling a pledge to make available $100 billion annually in the fight against climate change.

He said the only means available to some of these poor nations, particularly those on the African continent, is to exploit their natural resources for economic growth.

President Akufo-Addo expressed these sentiments on Tuesday, November 2 when he addressed world leaders at Plenary Cairn Gorm as part of the ongoing United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, Scotland.

The world has been committed to the fight against climate change with the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015.

In his address after that of Angolan President, Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco, President Akufo-Addo questioned how nations on the continent can finance efforts to ensure sustainable environment when the resources discovered are the major sources of funding.

“The Almighty has blessed our land with abundant natural resources and it will be wholly unfair for the world to demand that Africa abandons the exploitation of these same resources needed to finance our development and help us to cope better with the threat of climate change at a time when many countries on the continent have only just discovered them.

“The development and industrialization of the wealthy nations of today were also hinged on the exploitation of their natural resources. This development came at the expense of pollution and emission of greenhouse gases. Even today, the Western world is responsible for 76 percent of carbon emission.”

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He, therefore, called for a balance between social-economic and environmental goals.

“We believe that the balance must be struck and maintained between our social, economic and environmental imperatives.

“We are naturally very disappointed by the failure of the wealthy nations to honour their commitment of making available $100 billion annually to the poorer countries to assist us in the fight against climate change and by the unavailability of the technology transfer that will help us find sustainable ways of charting a path out this existential crisis.

“Those same nations are, however, insisting that we abandon the opportunity for rapid development of our economies. That will be tantamount to enshrining in the global community inequality of the highest order, a totally unacceptable conclusion.”

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana