Fariya is currently the country coordinator of End Ecocide Ghana, global ambassador of Youth for Enlightenment and Welfare, and is a researcher.
We asked her 10 questions relevant to her role now as a Climate Tracker and here are her answers:
The world is changing and societies are facing challenges with depleted energy resources, water shortages, soaring food costs and climate is also changing as nations are suffering from this changing climate in their pursuit of water, food security, sustainable development and economic sustainability. Many of these bigger challenges will be forced to address in the 21st century which has major environmental implications. Therefore the changing world has turned me into an environmentalist.
I am interested in loss and damage, mitigation, adaptation and finance, technology transfer and capacity building because the impact of climate change is said to be on the rise these days due to a lot of devastating challenges confronting Ghanaians battle with on daily basis. For example the change in weather patterns resulting into drought in the north of Ghana, failure of crops, torrential rainfall causing flood coupled with the recent fire disasters, one of which has claimed over 150 lives in just one night and disrupted infrastructural services like roads, railways and schools which required about more than $25 million for emergency response and caused more than $130 million worth of direct damage. And Ghana has contributed the least to deserve this, hence developed countries must foot the bill (loss and damage) for any of these extreme events and government support that will help the poor to adapt to climate change is limited and the existence of financial mechanism to help Africa is limited. Meanwhile Ghana needs about $22.6 billion in investments from domestic and international public and private sources to finance our climate mitigation and adaptation actions.
Well, I do not approve of my country’s INDC because if vulnerable countries such as Samoa, Ethiopia and the Maldives have shown strong support for rapid emission cuts needed to get to zero emission and if these countries are pushing for rapid emission cuts, I think my beloved country could have done better as gifted with abundant renewable resources.
Well, I don’t only represent the voice of the vulnerable in my beloved country, Ghana alone but I represent the voice of the vulnerable in the African continent, I am always prepared and capable of going the extra mile and perform more than what is expected from me, I assume accountability for all my actions, I am open minded in dealing with other people, I fulfill my promises and commitments and make apologies for failure of promises, I am honest and confident, I have the capability of working in partnership with peers from different national and cultural backgrounds.
My message to climate skeptics out there is that climate is changing and the earth is warming up and is already a serious threat to the lives of many less fortunate and even the countries that do not belong to the group of the most affected by climate change, the climate crisis is seriously challenging the status quo at the economic and social level. Hence the climate skeptics should not use scientific uncertainty about climate change to justify their policies of not reducing much greenhouse gas emissions and economic arguments should not be used also as an excuse for inaction.
The most challenging experience as an advocate is about editors. As some editors will be demanding airtime and money before publishing my article and others will ask you to call them before sending the article. And after the call, if you send the article you will never hear any response and if you also try to follow up with a second call, they will never pick until you agree on their request.
The most fulfilling experience as an advocate is getting response from readers through emails and sometimes from editors especially the Commonwealth editor who made my day after receiving a powerful email from her which reads “congratulations Fariya on a highly informative and inspiring article and thank you for this excellent article on the potential of solar power in Ghana”. Also, receiving phone calls applauding me for the good work done, invitations to attend forums and workshops and panel discussion on climate change and renewable energy, getting my articles republished on the government of Ghana’s page, receiving invitations from energy companies by giving me a platform to publish my articles on their page.
Africa is the most vulnerable when it comes to climate change impact and renewable energy resource potential in Africa has not been fully exploited mainly due to financial barriers which has contributed to low levels of uptake of renewable energy technologies in the continent and Africa needs funds to fully exploit her endowed resources and to fight climate change. If given the super power to change a single thing to combat climate change, I will change the minds of every developed and rich countries to push all their money to Africa and developing countries to go 100% renewable in order to make good use of its renewable resource potential and the minds of major emitters for a much drastic cut all aiming for zero emissions.
When stuck in a desert, the three people I will bring are trees, humans and rainfall because we live in an age where carbon dioxide is very abundant in the atmosphere and trees fulfill their part in the environment and take some of the excess carbon dioxide out of the air and with more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, more of the sun’s radiation is being reflected back to earth, instead of space, and this is causing our average temperature to rise. Also, we need rainfall to grow more trees and humans to live in this healthy environment.
I am always prepared and capable of going the extra mile and perform more than what is expected from me.
Here are the articles she wrote:
- Why the Need for Ghana to have a Gender Sensitive Climate Change Policy
- Why Ghana and Rich Countries Should Think about Climate http://www.modernghana.com/news/620473/1/why-ghana-and-rich-countries-need-to-think-about-c.html
- How Climate Change Affect 11 People Around the World. http://m.voicesofyouth.org/en/posts/how-climate-change-affects-11-young-people-around-the-world
- Government Effort on Climate Change Impact Awareness. http://www.modernghana.com/news/617875/1/government-effort-on-climate-change-impact-awarene.html
- Why Ghana Should Swear An Oath Never To Go For Nuclear Energy And Goodbye Fossil Fuel For 100% Renewable Energy. http://www.modernghana.com/news/621743/1/why-ghana-should-swear-an-oath-never-to-go-for-nuc.html
- Why the Government of Ghana needs to push for 1.5 degrees to prevent the whole country from being “cooked”. modernghana.com/news/623259/1/why-the-government-of-ghana-needs-to-push-for-15-d.html
- Why And How Waste Disposal Is The Root Cause Of Climate Change And Climate Refugee In Ghana. http://www.modernghana.com/news/625501/1/why-and-how-waste-disposal-is-the-root-cause-of-cl.html
- Why The Government Of Ghana Needs To Prioritize Afforestation To Combat Global Warming. http://www.modernghana.com/news/625500/1/why-the-government-of-ghana-needs-to-prioritize-af.html
- Are Residents to Blame for floods in Ghana? http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/economic-development/environment-climate-change/are-residents-to-blame-for-floods-in-ghana/
- Solar energy could end power crises in Ghana. http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/economic-development/environment-climate-change/solar-energy-could-end-power-crisis-in-ghana/
- Human Health Vulnerability to Climate Change In Ghanahttp://www.modernghana.com/news/633069/1/human-health-vulnerability-to-climate-change-in-gh.html
- Making Meaning Out of Renewable Energy in Africa. http://newsghana.com.gh/making-meaning-out-of-renewable-energy-in-africa/
- The voices of the vulnerable to the impacts of climate change in Ghana. http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/features/The-voices-of-the-vulnerable-to-the-impacts-of-climate-change-in-Ghana-379485
- African leaders must draft a common goal and speak with one powerful voice at UN negotiations. http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/features/African-leaders- must-draft-a-common-goal-and-378424
- An ambitious long term and effective short term goals are the weapons to climate protocolhttp://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/features/An-ambitious-long-term-and-effective-short-term-goals-are-the-weapons-to-climate-protocol-381105
- Is Ghana and the largest emitters ready for emission reduction?http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/features/Is-Ghana-and-the-largest-emitters-ready-for-emission-reduction-382919
- Why Paris climate change conference must draw a line in the sun to favour Africa.
- Ghana and the vulnerable countries call for attention at the climate treaty.
- LDCs And ADP 2.11: A message To Officials Of The Least Developed Countries Including African Negotiators In Bonn. http://www.modernghana.com/news/650299/1/ldcs-countries-and-adp-211-a-message-to-officials-.html
- The new ADP text, for 5-year olds