Home » West African Ministers Unite in Accra to Combat Climate Crisis

West African Ministers Unite in Accra to Combat Climate Crisis

Accra hosts pivotal climate meeting, rallying West African leaders for environmental resilience.

by Adenike Adeodun

In a significant move to address the global climate crisis, environment, science, and climate change ministers from 12 West African countries have convened in Accra. They aim to develop strategies that build resilience against the escalating climate crisis in the sub-region.

Moreover, the gathering, known as the fifth Ministerial Council meeting, sets the stage for the 28th UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP28). According to a report by the Daily Graphic, it seeks to bolster inter-governmental collaboration in the sub-region and mobilize various stakeholders for climate action.

Furthermore, the ministers plan to discuss leveraging technology and scientific research to lower emissions and promote climate change adaptation and mitigation. Spearheaded by the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), in collaboration with Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the meeting aims for significant impact.

Representatives from Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Niger, and Togo are participating in this crucial event.

During the opening session in Accra, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, Ghana’s Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), highlighted the need for collective action. He underscored the vital roles of both state and non-state actors in leveraging scientific research, innovation, and sustainable practices to reduce carbon emissions and explore green hydrogen opportunities.

Additionally, Dr. Afriyie acknowledged Africa as the continent most affected by climate change. He stressed the importance of a unified approach to combating this global threat effectively, advocating for a balance of global thinking and regional action.

With the upcoming COP28 in Dubai, Dr. Afriyie emphasized the meeting’s critical timing. He reminded participants of Africa’s severe impact from climate change and the need for concerted efforts from all African players, including both state and non-state actors.

Also, Dr. Afriyie pointed out Ghana’s commitment to combating climate change, as evidenced by the 2022 update of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) strategy under the Paris Agreement. This update, encompassing 19 policy areas, has been translated into 47 adaptation and mitigation programs of action.

He further added that these NDCs and climate policies focus on social inclusion, especially involving youth and women, to ensure greenhouse gas emission reductions. These efforts could prevent at least 2,900 premature deaths annually from improved air quality by 2023 and create over one million green jobs.

Praising WASCAL’s leadership, Dr. Afriyie lauded the partnership between WASCAL and Germany for providing essential knowledge and technologies to combat the climate crisis.

Lastly, Prof. Bourema Kansaye, Chairman of the WASCAL Council of Ministers, emphasized the urgency of collaboration against climate-induced threats like food insecurity and migration. He urged civil society organizations, research institutions, and state and non-state agencies to work together to tackle these challenges.

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