The Government of Ghana in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has officially launched the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Readiness Programme in Accra.
The GCF is a new international financial mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), designed to disburse new and additional resources for climate change mitigation and adaptation activities in developing countries. The Readiness Programme launched in Ghana will support the government in strengthening their national capacities to plan for, access, deliver, and monitor climate finance in particular through the GCF. In addition, the Programme will build capacity of private sector and non-governmental stakeholders to unlock their potentials for their enhanced access to climate finance.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Dominic Sam, UNDP Country Director, lauded the government for launching this important initiative. He explained how the increasing threat from climate change is affecting Ghana, with an example of the recent flood in Accra which claimed multiple lives and caused damages across the city. Mr. Sam noted that this trend has led to an increased call for nationwide investment to adapt to climate change and prevent its negative impacts. He further described how the investment in clean energy can achieve the twin goals of energy security and climate change mitigation. All these cannot be made without enhanced access to climate finance.
The launch of the GCF Readiness Programme comes on the heels of Ghana’s successful launch of the National Climate Change Policy in 2014 and the nation’s commitment for a new global climate change agreement to be set out in the Paris Conference of Parties later this year.
Hon. Mahama Ayariga, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation said that developing countries, especially those within coastal zones, are more likely to suffer from the adverse impact of climate change. He emphasized the huge cost expected for the climate change mitigation and adaption actions in Ghana, and hence was happy that the GCF Readiness Programme was in place to prepare Ghana for the opportunities ahead. “We will blend support from donors with national resources, both private and public, to address climate change”, he added.
The GCF has so far mobilized USD 10.5 billion to support climate projects in developing countries. Ms. Mona Quartey, Deputy Minister of Finance said this fund is expected to increase over time to reach a hundred billion dollars per year by 2020. She assured that the Ministry of Finance, as the National Designated Authority for the GCF, will provide needed support and leadership for the smooth interface between the country and the fund.
Over the past few years, Ghana has been making major strides in its response to climate change. The United Nations (UN) system in Ghana has been working with government, private sector, financial institutions, and civil society groups to support national efforts across various sectors toward Ghana’s successful mobilization and delivery of climate finance at scale. GCF Readiness Programme, over the next two years, will further the close partnership between the UN and Government of Ghana.
This news article has been originally published on 10 June 2015.