Climate change is an urgent threat to humanity that demands swift, collective and decisive action. Ghana signed and ratified the Paris Agreement in 2015 and 2016 respectively to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to preindustrial levels. Under the Paris Agreement, each country is expected to determine, plan, and regularly report on the contribution that it is undertaking to mitigate climate change. Ghana thus put forward nationally determined contributions (NDCs) made up of 31 mitigation and adaptation actions. The 31 actions proposed would require $22.6 billion investments of which US$ 6.4 billion is being mobilised from domestic sources, whilst 16.2 billion are being sought from international support.

Ghana pledged to take mitigation and adaptation actions cutting across seven priority areas (energy, transport, agriculture and forestry, water, gender, industry, disaster management, and climate services) to decrease GHG by 15% (i.e. from the target of 2 to 1.7 tonnes per capita) relative to the BAU growth-scenario by 2030. However, further 30% emission reduction is attainable (i.e. to 1.4 tonnes per capita) provided the country receives the said external support to cover the full cost of implementing its proposed mitigation actions. The external support is expected to cover not only finance but technology transfer and capacity building.

Key Challenges
Certain human activities like the burning of fossil fuels and land use changes among others, have led to increasing volumes of carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases (GHGs), which in turn have contributed to climate change and its resultant effects. It has been predicted that the mean surface temperature of the world is likely to increase between 0.3ºC and 4.8ºC by the end of the 21st century, resulting in changing weather patterns (e.g. heat waves, which will occur more often and last longer, and extreme precipitation events, which will become more intense and frequent), rising sea levels and increased coastal erosion, and warming and acidification of the ocean.

Looking Ahead

Local and national governments shall be supported in climate change adaptation and mitigation processes. The development and implementation of low-carbon, climate-resilience projects and programmes to reduce emissions and enhance adaptive capacity of local communities is a decisive step in minimising the threats of climate change. It is acknowledged that climate change is a global phenomenon and only with a coordinated approach and action at the local, national, regional and global levels, can success be achieved.