The 28th edition of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as the Conference of the Parties, kicked off on Thursday, , November 30, 2023, with Ghana joining over 200 countries worldwide to exchange nuanced knowledge and information, foster decisive action, and expedite collective efforts towards addressing climate change.
At the Pre-COP event held in Accra on November 23, 2023, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, MP, articulated the significance of the event. He emphasized that the conference, scheduled from December 1 to December 12, 2023 ”presents a unique opportunity for us to review the effectiveness of our adaptation and mitigation measures, climate financing, and our country’s Nationally Determined Contributions, with the aim of updating such Nationally Determined Contributions.”.
In essence, the Lands Minister’s statement encapsulates the core purpose of COP28 which is providing a platform for a global stocktake and assessment of progress in implementing actions and policies aimed at addressing the destructive consequences of climate change.
At the heart of the conference will be the implementation of the Paris Agreement, a landmark accord signed in 2015 by nations committing to limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. The discussions and deliberations during COP28 are expected to drive forward the global commitment to combating climate change and achieving the objectives outlined in the Paris Agreement.
A report recently published by UN Climate Change ahead of the COP28 indicates that the world is not on track to limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C by the end of this century. While the report recognizes that countries are developing plans for a net-zero future and that there has been a major shift to clean energy, there still remains a great deal of work to be done to attain the objectives of the articles of the Paris Agreement.
It is against this backdrop that Ghana which has earned global recognition for embracing green environment initiatives through the execution and implementation of actions and policies that mitigate climate change impact, goes into the COP28 with a nationally determined lineup of activities.
These activities outlines the nation’s contributions to the global effort towards climate change as well as its renewed and consistent effort towards the fight.
At the core of Ghana’s participation in COP28 is a deliberate, planned and forceful positioning of forest and nature-based solutions as the most effective and efficacious module for halting the climate crisis. Ghana seeks to engineer a global move and direction towards the financing of pro-forestry interventions to dealing with the situation.
Dubbed the “Resilient Ghana: Advancing Climate Action for Prosperity”. Ghana’s COP28 policy package is anchored on;
- Nature-based industrialization & rural development which focuses on driving sustainable growth by investing in forest landscape restoration, cocoa and oil palm value chains and also strengthening climate-smart agricultural and responsible mining practices;
- Future-fit green jobs and livelihoods which aim to build an inclusive, fair and prosperous economy, creating jobs for Ghanaian youth, especially in rural areas; and
- Scaling climate ambition by establishing adaptive resilience for communities and smallholders to address interlinked challenges of food security/production vulnerabilities and climate change.
The importance and relevance with which Ghana attaches to COP28 is reflected in the presence of His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the leader of the country’s delegation who will be hosting and chairing a number of presidential events as well as Lands Minister, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor who will be engaging in a number of inter-ministerial discourses and delivering epoch-making speeches at some selected events.
As has become a feature of Ghana’s participation at the COP since the 2021 edition in Glasgow, Ghana has secured a pavilion at the Expo City in Dubai which will serve as the hub for the country’s COP activities and showcase our climate actions and hold strategic investment and partnership engagements.
His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will host a Presidential Event at the Pavilion, with other Heads of State and Government, and the United States’ Special Presidential Envoy on Climate, Secretary John Kerry, on the theme, “Leveraging Nature-Based Solutions Towards 1.5°C: Monitoring Progress.”
The President will, also, lead Ghana to announce her Country Package dubbed “Resilient Ghana: Advancing Climate Action for Prosperity.”
The Ministry will hold a high-level Ministerial event on “Accelerating Forest and Nature Finance Towards 1.5⁰C.”. This event which will be held at Ghana’s Pavilion will be Chaired by the Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor on December 3, 2023.
The Minister will deliver the opening and closing remarks at a conference at the Ghana Pavilion dubbed “Accelerating CFI 2.0 by Increasing Investments in Priority Landscapes in Ghana”.
Hon. Samuel A.Jinapor will also be part of a Ministerial meeting by the Forest Climate Leaders Partnership (FCLIP). He will also partake in a panel discussion the theme, “Technical Assistance for Forest Carbon Markets”
Hon. Jinapor will also join the UK Pavilion to deliberate on ideas with the forum dubbed “Standing at the Crossroads: Maximizing Finance For Forest Carbon – The Way Forward”. He will also deliver speech at the “Delivering on Glasgow; Halting and Reversing Forest Loss by 2030” summit. He is also expected to deliver brief remarks at the Reception ceremony of the LEAF Coalition.
A Speech on “Strengthening inclusion in Redd Result-based payment” will be delivered by the Deputy Minister in charge of Forestry, Hon. Benito Owusu Bio on December 3, 2023.
Agencies under the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, particularly, the Forestry Commission have a number of activities lined up to ensure that the country is ably represented at the event.