Popular Ghanaian musician, Kwame Nsiah-Appau, also known as Okyeame Kwame on Monday, November 2, 2021, joined a group of Climate Youth Defenders from Ghana to present a Climate Clock and a set of demands to the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, during a short ceremony at the country’s Pavilion inside the formal negotiating space at COP26 in Glasgow.
The Climate Clock project is centered on a simple tool; a digital clock that counts down the critical time window to rapidly and drastically reduce global greenhouse gas emissions while tracking progress on key solution pathways known as Lifelines. The Climate Clock presented to President Akufo Addo displayed a deadline of 7.75 years as the critical time window for climate action if global weather conditions are to stay under 1.5°C warming, as well as the current percentage of the world’s total energy consumption generated by renewable resources, which currently at 12.5%.
The multiple award-winning musician who was appointed Climate Clock Ambassador of Ghana 2 months ago said, “We must turn away from fossil fuels – the energy of destruction and death – and towards clean, renewable energy, the energy of nature, future and of life. With inclusion, climate justice, real and urgent actions, we can overturn our deadline into a lifeline, but we must work towards it.”
The main agenda for the Climate Change Youth Activists is to put pressure on the governments including the government of Ghana so they commit to lower emissions and mobilize support for the Renewable Energy for Communities Campaign. It is for this reason that the Ghanaian Youth Climate Defenders also presented President Afuko Addo with a set of demands, including the call for the government of Ghana to commit to 30% renewable energy within its energy mix by 2030, to put Ghana well on its way to a clean energy future.
This was reiterated by the Coordinator for the Renewable Energy for Communities campaign (RE4C) in Ghana, Portia Adu Mensah. She said “we, as youth, will continue to stand and speak up to ensure our communities have access to clean energy. We not only need to break free from fossil fuels but also need to lead in ensuring small-scale, off-grid community-friendly renewable energy is accessible to all. In our petition, we are appealing to the government to scale up renewable energy to at least 30% of the country’s energy mix by the year 2030.”
However, it appears Ghana has already made significant gains in that regard through its numerous climate-friendly power generation projects. Deputy Director in charge of Nuclear and Alternative Energy at Ghana’s Ministry of Energy, Dr Robert Sogbadzi said, “more than 30% of our energy production (in Ghana) is clean and that is from the Akosombo as well as Bui (dams) and the rest.”
Another example of achievements chalked by Ghana in tackling Climate change is proclaimed by the Project Coordinator for the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) on climate change (CC), Dr Antwi-Boasiako Amoah for COP26 is the fact that Ghana was able to secure a pavilion and office spaces in Glasgow for the first him in her history.
“This is despite the 30% increase in the cost of securing pavilions from COP25. In an exclusive interview with Dr Amoah,” he said.
“Securing a pavilion is expensive especially in the UK but graciously we had assistance from the UK government with about £50k and the UNDP also supported with more than $25k and some institutions locally like the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, Forestry Commission so it was a collaborative effort.”
The pavilion and office spaces for Ghana during COP26 are crucial to the country’s hope of securing good deals. Dr Antwi-Boasiako Amoah who is part of Ghana’s delegation of negotiators in Glasgow said “securing the Pavillion is going to enhance our coordination as a country simply because now we have one fixed space where Ghanaian delegates can meet, discuss and strategize….you have that space where you can have your bilateral discussions with partners on what Ghana intends doing and how they can support financially and Technologically…..its a way of also marketing Ghana’s National Determined Contributions (NDCs).
For the Climate Youth Defenders from Ghana, one wonders whether the presentation to President Akufo Addo in Glasgow would have been possible without Ghana’s Pavilion.
Meanwhile, the Climate Clock is to be presented to the President of Nigeria Mahamudu Buhari in the coming days. Global Ambassador of the Climate Clock Jerome Ringo said ” “This climate clock has travelled from New York City to Accra, to Lagos. Apart from Ghana, we will soon deliver more clocks to other countries, including to President Buhari of Nigeria. Everywhere they go, the clocks will carry the message of the people with them. Through the clock, we are drawing the world’s attention to the urgency for action.”