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by | 18-10-2015 01:06 recommendations 0

Climate change is referred to changes in the  average  climate - weather  at  a given  point  and  time  of  year,  over  a long period (typically 30 years). Caused by Natural and Anthropogenic factors, scientist's observation of anthropogenic since 20th century has been the major cause of Climate Change – with increase in Green House Gases arising from industrialization and modernization giving rise to global warming.

Climate effects such as the global sea level rise affects Ghana's waters. During the 20th century, sea level rose an average of 7 inches after 2,000 years of relatively little change. Ghana's coastal waters are affected with about 4 inches sea level rise.

West-African countries contribution towards climate change is relatively minimal considering our population and energy access systems. Few African countries like South Africa are fully engaged in the dirty coal industry, most countries generate energy through hydro and thermal plant systems.

However, tropical regions of which Ghana is part of, holds the world largest trees and are potentially identified as buffer zones in the world for correcting or halting a warming planet. It is expected that developing countries would not repeat the mistakes of developed countries but will adopt a more greener and sustainable way of economic growth – green economy. Nevertheless, most African countries are performing poorly in that regards.


Ghana's Green House Gas emission rose from 53.16 to 59.46 MtCO2e excluding Land Use Change and Forestry (LUCF) between the period of 1990 to 2010. As modernization advance, the higher our Green House Gas emissions and thus, increasing our contribution to the depletion of the ozone layer. In 2003, Ghana ratified the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

 Programmes and projects carried out as a result of Ghana's obligation under the convention include preparation of Initial Communication on climate change draft proposal for the establishment of a Climate Change Commission to facilitate awareness creation and sensitization on issues of climate change - Introduction of catalytic converters into vehicles to improve emissions from cars.

Ghana GHG emission by Joshua

Ghana currently suffers climate effects such as agriculture and food insecurity due to unpredictable rainfall patterns, flooding, drought and increase in the rate of some temperature related infectious diseases. There are clear signals of warming in all models. An increase of 1 has been seen over the past 30 years. One recent projection estimated temperature increases of 1.7 to 2.04 by 2030 in the Northern Savannah regions, with average temperatures rising as high as 41. Secondly, there is uncertainty on rainfall–it may increase, or decrease. Ghana's climate is already unpredictable and the country can expect more intense and extreme weather events, such as torrential rains, excessive heat and severe dry winds.

The country is confronted by a number of environmental challenges including land degradation, coastal erosion, pollution of rivers and lagoons especially due to recent illegal mining activities, deforestation, desertification and waste management which all contributes to the intensification of climate effects. The cost of Ghana's environmental degradation is estimated at 10% of its GDP. Over 80% of disasters in Ghana are estimated to be climate-related. To combat climate change, the government of Ghana has developed both adaptation and mitigation strategies of which the main running policy on climate effects in Ghana now is the National Climate Change Policy Framework. Ghana's National Climate Change Policy Framework (NCCPF, 2010) has three objectives: low carbon growth, effective adaptation to climate change and social development.

The adaptation strategy ensures the following touchstones - resilience of the adaptation intervention how sustainable the intervention  will  be the  potential  to  have  multiplier  effects as a result of the implementation of the adaptation intervention extent of reproducibility of the intervention  and how  feasible the  whole intervention is.

On adaptation in the energy sector there has been an increase in the use of efficient domestic appliances, large scale energy conservation and the use of off-grid alternative energy resources. Under livelihood there is improvement in the output and income of vulnerable groups, strengthen the relationship between scientific knowledge and traditional or indigenous knowledge, sensitizing beneficiaries on the need to adopt new and appropriate technologies on economic and non-economic livelihoods and create awareness on climate change and its adaptation strategies. 

For Agriculture and fisheries, adaptation strategies include building and strengthening capacity of extension officers in new farming technologies in order to enhance their support for farmers, promoting cultivation of crops and rearing of animals adapted to harsh climatic conditions, promoting fish farming, designing and implementing programmes on fisheries management and disease control, training trainers to promote post-harvest technologies to minimize losses of farm produce and protecting the environment through the promotion of agricultural biodiversity. 

Adaptation measures for water include make water accessible for domestic, agricultural, industrial, and commercial use and energy production, increase water availability for domestic, industrial, agricultural, and energy production, improve and sustain the quality of water resources, to build capacity in water resources management.

Mitigation is the reduction in the increasing effects of climate change or reduction in the factors that contributes to climate change.

Ghana's energy sector is responsible for the highest emissions of CO2 while forestry and agriculture keeps increasing in greenhouse gas emissions. Pertinently, Ghana's forestry sector is now recognized as a source greenhouse gas emission instead of serving as a sink for carbon sequestration.

Ghana seeks to venture more into the renewable energy sector considering our current energy crisis. Replacing some biomass with LPG: replacement of fuel wood and charcoal with LPG at the rate of 10% a year from 1995 to 2020 Use of biogas and LPG to replace some biomass from 2010 to 2015 when only LPG and biogas will be used, with the largest proportion of energy for cooking coming from biogas Vision to produce 10% of the country's energy from renewables by 2020 Gradual penetration of biogas for cooking at the rate of 10% of households per year from 2010 to 2020 More afforestation projects to rehabilitate degraded lands to aid in carbon sequestration – there are some major mitigation measures put in place to fight climate change.

Ghana is also yet to adopt Green Economy which is expected to bring about sustainable development while mitigating climate change. Advocacy groups such as Ghana Youth Environmental Movement, Ghana Youth Climate Coalition and Green Africa Youth Organization also contribute greatly to climate change literacy and engage in campaigns to shift attention to renewable energy. 


National Climate Change Policy Framework, 2010.



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  • says :
    It is saddening to see agriculture and coastal regions in Ghana being suffered adversely by anthropogenic climate change. But glad to know that it have a huge green cover and often regarded as buffer zone.
    I am hopeful that COP 21 will lead to a global agreement and supportive to stand against climate change.
    Thank you for detailed report dear Joshua :)
    Posted 21-10-2015 15:25

  • says :
    Thanks to you all for reading.
    Posted 19-10-2015 03:31

  • Luiz Bispo says :
    Thanks for report mate!!! Great report! Now I get to know what Ghana is doing to mitigate climate change. Keep it up! =)
    Posted 18-10-2015 23:34

  • says :
    Thanks Joshua for the detailed report on efforts taken by Ghana to mitigate climate change.
    Posted 18-10-2015 21:50

  • Arushi Madan says :
    Thanks for a very well organised and informative report . Although GHG emissions have risen in past in Ghana and there are environmental challenges country is facing as you mentioned but good part is that Ghana is not sitting idle on this issues , it has started putting climate mitigation strategies and actions in place. Hope it adopts Green Economy soon too.
    Posted 18-10-2015 18:05

  • Rohan Kapur says :
    Well structured report, Joshua. I fully agree, the developing nations must ensure that progress they make is sustainable, but considering the cost & availability this takes a back seat.
    The developed nations must support them in the long run so that together we may all coexist in a greener planet.
    Posted 18-10-2015 12:40

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