By: Oforiwa Darko
IRREVERSIBLE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE
Climate change loss and damage is all too familiar to African countries. Climate-fuelled cyclones in Mozambique and Madagascar, prolonged drought in Somalia and the floods in Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria, have been some of the recent, stark, reminders of the economic and social destruction that climate crisis can cause.
The IPCC report suggests that almost 3.3 billion to 3.6 billion people are highly vulnerable to climate disasters.
There are other risks attached to it such as poverty, weak governance, and limited access to basic services like healthcare.
This challenge is especially acute in sub-Saharan Africa, where 60% of the urban population lives in informal settlements, and in Asia, where 529 million people reside in these vulnerable areas.
People who are dependent on agriculture, tourism, and fishing for their livelihoods are directly exposed to climate risks.
CLIMATE VULNERABLE FORUM, CVF, AND V20 GROUP AGENDA
As nations of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and Vulnerable 20 Group also known as V20 continuously strive to move from climate vulnerability to climate prosperity, access to climate financing remains a constant hurdle.
This year, Ghana took over from Bangladesh as lead of climate emergency fight for vulnerable nations for the year 2022 to 2024. President Akufo-Addo then becomes the second African President to lead the Climate Vulnerable Forum after Ethiopia.
Interacting with the media at COP 27 in Sharm El Sheik in Egypt, Dr. Henry Kokofu, who is the Chief Executive of the Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana, as well as the CVF Presidency Special Envoy, noted that Ghana has a two-year term to run the Climate Vulnerable Forum, which comprises 58 nations, representing some 1.5 billion people.
“These are nations heavily hit by the climate impact. We have countries like the small island states, developing countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. In this regard, CVF, has been a driving force in supporting the interests and policy agendas of the most vulnerable nations and advancing their common priorities and interests.”
“Ghana has truly shown its ambition by taking up the great responsibility of the CVF Presidency”, he further added.
Along side the Climate Vulnerable Forum, CVF, the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group was established with the inaugural meeting of Ministers of Finance of the CVF. Currently chaired by Ghana’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, the V20 Group is a dedicated cooperation initiative of economies vulnerable to climate change.
THE BIG ISSUE – “LOSS AND DAMAGE”
Addressing climate-induced loss and damage has been included as one of the six points on the African group of negotiators’ agenda for COP 27.
This is seen as a promising start for many, since it marks the first time this finance instrument, known as Loss and Damage (L&D), is being discussed officially at a COP, after decades of Global North policy obstruction.
Loss and Damage refers to money paid by the richest worst carbon polluting countries to help poorer nations on the frontline of the climate crisis recover from losses such as damages caused by serious events linked to climate change, including floods, fires, droughts and excessive heat.
Commenting on the inclusion of Loss and Damage in the formal talks process at COP27, the Chief Executive of the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, Dr Henry Kokofu, noted that an agenda item is no victory as it is rather the very lowest bar of success.
“At least we can now work at COP to see real action and results on loss and damage. We need to see a clear commitment to finance loss and damage distinct from the $100 billion agreed annual climate finance. And we must have mechanisms to deliver the funds such as a financing facility and the V20-G7 Global Shield. COP27 must deliver for Africa and the most vulnerable.”
CVF-V20 CLIMATE PROSPERITY PLANS
Ghana along with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Maldives are preparing Climate Prosperity Plans aimed at facilitating growth despite the rising crisis of Climate insecurity in the world.
The Climate Prosperity Plans Program seeks to respond to this challenge by designing actionable investment and implementation pathways toward climate prosperity. It presents an opportunity to unlock new avenues for economic cooperation and innovative financing centered around ambitious and climate-smart targets.
The Ghana Climate Prosperity Plan, which is currently under development, is a roadmap to attract foreign investment in Ghana’s economy, to boost economic growth and employment, while also accelerating climate adaptation and bringing down the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.