Minister of Environment, Science & Technology

He mentioned finance, carbon markets, technology transfer and poverty eradication.

Mr. McKinnon said though tapping these opportunities were a problem, models could be adopted from countries with early successes.

He said support for climate change in 2009 was about $10 billion grants and concessional loans pledged as “Fast start Finance” over and above the circa $10 billion of climate finance already flowing from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to developing countries.

Speaking at a Climate Change Vulnerability Monitor 2012 National Workshop in Accra, Mr. McKinnon said if Ghana was able to take a cue from the successful approaches of other vulnerable countries like Vietnam and funds for climate change could represent a significant additional contribution to the economy on a relatively short time frame.

The workshop sponsored by AusAID of the Australian Government is to solicit data for research to ascertain a viewpoint on the state of climate response challenges and opportunities for Ghana and the West Africa Region from an international study with a short term policy lens (2030).

The research would focus on the Northern Region, Keta area in the Volta Region, Ada in the Greater Accra Region and other areas to be suggested by the participants.

He was of the view that Ghana and West Africa had not gained meaningful access to international carbon market such as clean development mechanism, and noted that emission reduction and reforestation programmes in Ghana would be made more viable if access to income streams derived from international carbon market were made available.

According to World Health Organisation, 2010 health data, Ghana’s climate sensitive disease burden has worsened.

The data indicate that Ghana now resides in the most vulnerable category for climate change and health globally, and that the main disease sensitive to climate parameters and malnutrition among young children include water and food borne diseases such as cholera and vector borne diseases such as malaria.

The most significant climate impact for Ghana by 2030 per year on health is estimated at 2,500 death with an additional 1.25-5 million people to be affected.

It would cost Government $500 million to mitigate the effects of heating and cooling, $140 million on fisheries, $165 million on agriculture, $15 million on forestry, $10 million on flood and landslides, $100 million on sea-level rise and $50 million on biodiversity.

Preliminary data analysis indicate that key challenges ahead of West Africa and for that matter Ghana was that African leaders were yet to fully grasp the phenomenon and its implications for the continent.

Panelists at the workshop argued that there was the urgent need for Ghana to develop a communication strategy that would make issues of climate change more meaningful to the ordinary Ghanaian.

They contended that there was the need to craft messages to suit people in formal and informal sector because climate change was a developmental issue and not an environmental one and should be understood as such.

Member of Africa Union Panel of WISE, Ms. Mary Chinery-Hesse, urged stakeholders to play advocacy role in sensitising the population in the country’s quest to tackle climate change.

She encouraged African countries to work with international experts but should not allow them to dictate the pace.

West African Regional Advisor on Climate Change at the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), Mr. Sean Doolan, said Ghana had a strong voice but her key messages were fragmented and called for more efforts to initiate a strategic policy.

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