It has emerged that Ghana sent over 330 delegates to the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP 26), which began on 31st October and is expected to end on November 12, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland.
A provisional list published on the website of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change indicates that Ghana’s contingent was led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Some sector ministers who made the trip included Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation; Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey of Foreign Affairs, Dan Botwe, Minister of Local Government Decentralization and Rural Development; Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister for Land and Natural Resources and Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Energy.
The list also includes representatives from Parliament, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of the President, the media, among others. Ghana presentated the 4th highest delagtion to the COP26.
President Akufo-Addo in his speech read on Tuesday, November 2 assured the world of Africa’s commitment to climate change.
“Ghana acknowledges the importance and effects of Climate Change, and the urgent need to combat it, and we acknowledge equally the importance of protecting our development. We believe that a balance must be struck and maintained between our social, economic and environmental imperatives.”
“Even though we, in Africa, are the least of the contributors to this phenomenon, responsible for less than four percent (4%) of the global volume of carbon emissions, we suffer the most because our agrarian and resource-driven economies are peculiarly susceptible to the effects of climate change, and our capacity to withstand its shocks is weak,” he said.
“The Almighty has blessed our lands with abundant natural resources, and it would be wholly unfair for the world to demand that Africa abandons the exploitation of these same resources needed to finance her development, and help us to cope better with the threat of climate change, at a time when many countries on the continent have only just discovered them,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He continued, “The development and industrialisation of the wealthy nations of today were also hinged on the exploitation of their natural resources. This development came at the expense of pollution and the emission of greenhouse gases. Even today, the western world is responsible for 76% of carbon emissions.”