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10.07.2008 General News

Ghana to host international conference on Climate Change

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Ghana and the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on Thursday signed letters of exchange to enable Ghana to host a Conference on Climate Change in August.

The conference slated for August 21-30 will be attended by about 2,000 delegates from 192 countries and will prepare the grounds for the roadmap to a major conference to the held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009.

The Ghana conference under the theme: "Accra Climate Change Talks 200” would also use Ghana as the "Wind of Change" for the international action on climate change.

Mr. Akwasi Osei-Adjei, Minister of Foreign Affairs, who signed for Ghana, said the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement linked to the UNFCCC, committed signatory countries to stabilize their green house gas emissions.

The protocol recognized that industrialized countries were responsible for the current high levels of greenhouse gas emissions and they therefore had a greater responsibility regarding their reduction, under the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities".

"In this regard, we acknowledge the G8 leaders' commitment to reduce green house gas emissions by 50 per cent by the 2050.”

He explained that by the end of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012, a new international framework would be negotiated and ratified to deliver the stringent emission reductions by the intergovernmental panel on Climate Change.

Mr Osei-Adjei expressed Ghana's commitment to the global effort to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change "and is hopeful that the upcoming meeting will prove to achieve the stringent reduction in the green house gas emissions that are so urgently needed".

Mr Kwadwo Adjei-Darko, Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, said the action of climate change needed not cap the aspirations for growth of rich or poor countries.

He said climate change provided opportunities for sustainable development and Ghana would mainstream climate change into its development agenda to achieve the Millennium Development Goal on climate.

"Ghana is working around the clock in the development of national strategies for climate change adaptation and mitigation. These strategies will provide the necessary enabling environment and set the blueprint for action by all stakeholders.”

Mr. Jonathan Allotey Executive Director of Environmental Protection Agency, said climate change was an important part caused by the continued and increasing emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities and could cause serious harm to economies, societies and ecosystems worldwide.

"If we do not act on climate change now, things will get worse in the decades to come in the form of floods, drought, rising sea levels and extreme weather events which will pose a serious threat to economic life, critical infrastructure, food production, access of water and people's dwelling.”

Mr Frank Agyekum, Deputy Minister of Information, called for all hands to be on deck to address the disastrous effects of climate change.

"If we are not careful, there will be a time that the current problem of water shortage will get out of hand,” he said.

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