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UK – Ghana reaffirm partnership on climate adaptation and resilience ahead of COP26

ENGLAND / GHANA – During a visit to Ghana, minister of state Anne-Marie Trevelyan co-chaired a ministerial roundtable with minister of environment Dr Kwaku Afriyie on climate adaption and resilience and Ghana’s roadmap to COP26.

The UK International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 presidency and minister of state (minister for energy, clean growth and climate change), Anne-Marie Trevelyan, has just completed a three-day working visit to Ghana. During her trip she visited UK-funded projects promoting climate action and interacted with key businesses and parts of government working to build Ghana’s resilience to climate change.

The visit comes ahead of the UK hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) in November, leveraging on the UK’s presidency to accelerate climate action, including a particular focus on adaptation and resilience in the most vulnerable parts of the world.

Speaking after the visit, minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the UK’s International Champion for Adaptation and Resilience for COP26, said:

“Ghana feels the impacts of climate change first hand, but has shown inspiring ambition and commitment to tackling climate change. It’s been incredible to see practical and effective on-the-ground action to adapt and build resilience to climate impacts, and to hear from ministers, businesses and civil society about the challenges and opportunities.

“The UK welcomes Ghana to the Adaptation Action Coalition and looks forward to the publication of the Adaptation Communication. I am excited to continue our collaboration to drive global action ahead of COP26.”

While in Ghana, minister Trevelyan met with the minister for environment, science, technology and innovation Dr Kwaku Afriyie, where she recognised the achievements of Ghana in the fight against climate change citing the collaborative efforts between the UK and Ghana. At the end of the meeting, Ghana committed to play its role in green recovery by working alongside the UK, Egypt, Malawi and Colombia, as an Adaptation Action Coalition (AAC) Steering Committee member and also produce on Adaptation Communication (AdComm).

Recognising climate change as a cross-cutting issue, she also co-chaired a roundtable discussion on implementing Ghana’s plans to increase climate adaptation and resilience with:

  • Ghana’s ministers of environment, science, technology and innovation, Dr Kwaku Afriyie;
  • Minister for food and agriculture, Owusu Afriyie Akoto;
  • Minister of lands and natural resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor;
  • Minister of local government, Daniel Botwe.

All agreed on the importance for Ghana to collaborate with other countries, with businesses and with civil society to implement effective action to adapt and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Dr Kwaku Afriyie, minister for environment, science, technology and innovation said:

“The most cost-effective and sustainable way to address the climate challenge in Ghana is to incorporate adaptation planning into development policies, plans and programmes. Ghana has responded to this call positively by putting in place systems to address adaptation needs in our development discourse. The goal is to integrate adaptation into policies and plans for climate-sensitive sectors, such as agriculture, water, health, energy, etc. As we strive to meet our adaptation needs, we would work with partners such as the UK to deliver on our adaptations goals.”

Ghana, like many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, is very vulnerable to climate change. Increases in temperature and changes in rainfall patterns will affect many critical sectors.

Cocoa, Ghana’s most significant agricultural export, is particularly vulnerable to climate change. The UK has supported the Cocoa and Forest Initiative (CFI) launched in March 2017 by the Prince of Wales with about £2 million. The initiative is in partnership with the ministry of lands and natural resources, and the World Cocoa Foundation committing to end deforestation and forest degradation in the cocoa supply chain.

Minister Trevelyan on her visit to Kumasi engaged smallholder cocoa farmers, businesses and regulators across the cocoa supply chain in Ghana to understand the impacts of climate change on cocoa farmers, and their response to climate-related challenges. These farmers currently receive UK support to adapt to climate impacts and help diversify their incomes, for example drought-resistant crops and agroforestry to provide shade for crops. She also visited the Olam processing plant to see cocoa processing in action.

The UK’s minister of state also further engaged with the Forestry Commission in Kumasi to learn about the UK-Ghana Forest mapping collaboration to produce an innovative forestry map that supports adaptation and nature goals. The map will be used to target deforestation in Ghana, support adaptation to climate change amongst smallholder farmers and ensure deforestation-free supply chains.

Understanding that the youth are the future, minister Trevelyan met with young climate advocates in Ghana and was encouraged by the array of events being planned, particularly ahead of COP26. The minister congratulated the two youth delegates, Patience Agyekum and Daniel Awomnab, chosen to represent Ghana at the #Youth4Climate event in Milan in September.

Later this year, the UK will host the UN climate change conference COP26 in Glasgow, Italy, with our partners. This will provide an opportunity for the world to come together and commit to urgent action to tackle the urgent threat of global climate change.

The UK reaffirms its commitments as host of COP26 to lead by example during this unprecedented time to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire action.

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