To ensure climate change issues are tackled in the local communities and cities, Districts, Municipalities, and Metropolitan Assemblies have been called upon to have a comprehensive climate change local action plan in place.

Local Action Plan according to Ms. Josephine Agbeko of C40 Cities should have the components of the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) comply with its local climate action plan.

Addressing the participants at the local stocktake event ahead of COP28 on 24th November 2023 in Accra, Ms. Agbeko revealed that city data shows that the waste and transport sectors emit the highest amount of greenhouse gases, hence it is “really critical that the climate action plan within the city start looking at how waste management can be done to promote recycling, zero waste strategies within a city”.

For the transport sector, she was of the view that structures should be put in place to lower the kind of emissions that typically would be the case in a business as usual scenario.

“The climate action plan of the city must be looking at ways to reduce the emissions but also doing so in a way that creates equitable, fair, and just societies for us all”, she reiterated.

The Local stocktake event under the theme: Empowering Ghana: The Accra Local Stock Take Unveiling Grassroots Solutions for Climate Resilience” was organised by Green Africa Youth Organization (GAYO) in partnership with the International Council for Local Environment Initiatives (ICLEI), the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use ( WASCAL), the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and La Dade Municipal Assembly (LADMA).

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The event aimed to promote collaborations and knowledge exchange as well as empower local communities to actively participate in global fight against climate change by bridging the gap between global aspirations and local realities. Furthermore, it provides a platform to embolden Ghana’s determination to create meaningful change, ensuring that climate action is not just a global agenda but a shared responsibility woven into the very fabric of it’s society.

Ms. Agbeko recounted the importance for communities and cities to create feedback loops hence “ensuring that community voices are represented in these discussions and not just the communities attending”.

“We must listen, hear what the communities are saying, understand their perspectives and how they’re being impacted by these issues of climate change in our communities, then collectively we would be able to develop the solutions that would bring value to both city residents and city administration’s own objectives”, she acknowledged.

As COP28 begins, she was hopeful that, “the discussions, both bilateral and multilateral conversations the country would lead or engage in would lead to really powerful outcomes for city residents as well as the nation at large.

Moreover, “ the implementation of projects needs to be backed by the right kind of funding structures that are needed. Because if “we’re are looking at tapping into resources that exist beyond our own boundaries, it’s important that within these conversations, we’re also able to build partnership”.

In her conclusion, she lamented that, loss and damage is beginning to really reflect a lot in the way that communities and cities experience the impacts of climate change.

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Therefore expects that, the loss and damage conversation at COP 28 will be advanced further that, adding “financing mechanism for loss and damage that started at the last COP will move a lot further for us to see some real meaningful changes and actions after COP28”.

Adding that, City authorities should think of how to support communities to adopt to these upcoming challenges citing the recent Akosombo Dam spillage as an example of how loss and damage affect communities.

On his part, Mr Ernest Kwabena Danso who represented the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stressed that, communities are mostly affected hence the need to create more awareness at the local level.

In addressing the above, he was of the view that, stakeholders, government, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have a critical role in securing the safety, development and wellbeing and CSOs should be able to do it.

“Also as we go to COP28, we should be putting fashionable programmes in place when it comes to negotiations. Africa’s position must be well articulated because when it comes to climate change issues, we are very vulnerable”, he stressed.

“Africa’s contribution to emissions is less unlike countries like US, Canada and other developed countries, so Africa should have a concreted strong force.

….They should come together and negotiate better. I foresee that we have a better deal like the last time we had, especially the developed countries to make more commitment to be able to ensure that we have a lot of resources, especially funding for addressing climate issues within Africa and Ghana to be specific”. He concluded.

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Conference Of Parties (COP28) takes off from 30th November to 12th December, 2023 in Dubai.
At COP 28 countries, companies, financial institutions and civil societies will come together to affirm their will to tackle the climate challenge through concerted and collaborative actions.

Participants at the event engaged in discussions on evaluating the effectiveness of countries’ NDCs, and climate action plans, assessing the integration of urban elements in climate action, understanding the ambition of local- level climate Action Plans (CAPs) and exploring opportunities for climate justice.

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