The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has called on the global community to use the 28th session of the Conference of Parties (COP28) as a stage to take concrete steps towards addressing the climate crisis.
He said COP28 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) must not be “business as usual” but a wake-up call on countries to deliver previous commitments towards climate action.
At a pre-COP28 event in Accra last Thursday to provide highlights on the country’s participation in COP28, Mr Jinapor, who is a Co-chair of the Forest and Climate Leaders Partnership (FCLP), stressed that COP28 must lead to new targets and revised nationally determined contributions (NDCs) “with true dedication and fidelity to their implementation.”
“It must deliver concrete and pragmatic efforts to achieve the target in the Paris Agreement of reducing global average temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels,” he added.
COP28 is scheduled for the Expo City in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from Thursday, November 30 to Tuesday, December 12, this year.
The event brought together partners from both state and non-state institutions to share plans for the conference.
It was also meant to seek the support and cooperation of all stakeholders to accelerate action on forest and nature-based solutions to climate change.
The wife of the Vice-President, Samira Bawumia, who is also the Chairperson of the Africa Women and Children Conference (AFRIWOCC), was the special guest at the event.
Also in attendance were top officials of agencies under the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources such as the Minerals Commission, Lands Commission and Forestry Commission.
Mr Jinapor described COP28 as a unique one because it was the first-ever opportunity for global stocktaking on the progress countries had made in the fight against the global climate crisis, as enshrined in Article 14 of the landmark Paris Agreement adopted in 2015.
Article 14 of the Paris Agreement provides for a periodic global stocktaking on the implementation of the Agreement to assess progress towards achieving its objectives.
The minister stated that COP28 was a unique opportunity for countries to review the effectiveness of their adaptation and mitigation measures, climate financing and NDCs, with the aim of updating such contributions.
“Clearly, the world is not doing enough to combat this crisis but we are encouraged by the fact that forest and other nature-based solutions can deliver up to a third of climate solutions.
“And given that 50 per cent of our national Greenhouse Gas (GhG) emissions are attributed to agriculture, forest and land use activities, we are confident that we can contribute to global efforts to halt climate change,” Mr Jinapor said.
He explained that it was important to prioritise forest and nature-based solutions to climate change such as the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest Finance (LEAF), the Cocoa and Forest Initiative (CFI), the Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Initiative (VCMI), the Ghana REDD+ Programme and the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) dialogue.
COP28 Ghana pavilion
The minister said Ghana had secured a pavilion at the Expo City in Dubai to showcase the country’s climate actions and hold strategic investment and partnership engagements.
He explained that President Akufo-Addo would host a presidential event at the pavilion with other heads of state and government, and the United States’ Special Presidential Envoy on Climate, John Kerry.
Mr Jinapor said the event would be held on the theme: “Leveraging nature-based solutions towards 1.5°C: monitoring progress.”
Again, he said the President would announce the country’s package dubbed: "Resilient Ghana: advancing climate action for prosperity.”
“The country’s package is one of the initiatives of the Forest Climate Leadership Programme (FCLP) to design, develop and implement an integrated system-wide holistic suit of interventions to address forest landscape restoration, according to each country’s NDCs,” he said.
Mr Jinapor added that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources would hold a high-level ministerial event on the theme: “Accelerating forest and nature finance towards 1.5?C.”
The ministry would partner the AFRIWOCC Secretariat under the distinguished leadership of Mrs Bawumia to host a high-level event at the Ghana pavilion on the implementation of the communique on actions and roadmap of the conference.