Dr Antwi Bosiako Amoah, Director, Climate Change Adaptation at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), says there is a serious gap in the area of public financing of climate change issues both at the sector and national levels across Africa.
According to the climate change expert, when it comes to the sub-national level, the situation was even worse because there was a lot of vulnerability at the local level, yet local officers lacked the capacity to raise the necessary funding to implement their activities since local financing was woefully inadequate.
Dr Amoah, therefore, called on African Governments especially Ghana to make the financing aspect as part and parcel of their national development financing processes to adequately cater for the implementation of climate change activities embedded in the development plans of the local assembles.
He was speaking at the 4th Resilience Against Climate Change – Social Transformation Research (REACH-STR) learning event, held in Wa, on the topic: “Building Capacity for Developing Bankable Projects and Accessing Funds for Creating Resilient Pathways for Vulnerable Households.”
Dr Amoah noted that climate financing was very critical to any country that had signed the Paris Convention for Climate Change globally, noting that in the climate change cycle, they have three main phases including planning, implementation, and tracking of progress.
“All these phases need funding and without money, there was no way you could implement the planned activities and that explained why it is important to Ghana because almost all sectors they are working with are climate sensitive,” he said.
“We cannot sit and wait when people are dying for some advanced countries to bring the money, which never comes most of the time,” he added.
Dr Amoah disclosed that the $100 billion global target annually was not met and there is about 11 years climate change financing deficit globally.
The Director of Climate Change Adaptation at the EPA therefore noted that it was important for planners to have climate lens so that when they were planning normal projects, they could factor in issues of climate change.
“This is why we are trying to create awareness among the Assemblies on innovative ways of accessing climate funds so they can be able to address the issues on the ground,” he explained.
He urged the media to shift attention from politics to climate change and that more people were dying from climate change, hence, the need to create more awareness on these issues so that stakeholders could act.
Dr Winfred Nelson, Acting Director, Development Coordination Unit, National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), said the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change encouraged the integration of issues of climate change with national development planning processes.
He said the NDPC being at the apex of the national development planning system was also mandated to make recommendations on how these could be integrated with sound environmental principles across the Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as the 16 regions and all the 261 MMDAs.
Dr Nelson noted that currently there had been some remarkable improvement in climate mainstreaming as every plan chanced upon now would see issues of climate change in it especially the 11 sectors of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
He said they needed money to implement activities but was quick to point out that government funding was inadequate, hence the need to seek external funding.
“Now there are a lot of sources of funds that pertain to climate change that we can tap into, hence, the importance of taking participants through the practical training so that they could work together and generate proposals for funding to help minimize the impact of climate change on their livelihoods” Dr Nelson said.
“What we do not want them to do is to work in silos, we want them to work together in order to win grants and better tackle issues of climate change in a coordinated manner,” he added.
The Acting Director therefore encouraged all to develop joint proposals, adding that they were available to still offer technical support in developing these proposals so that they could win more funding.
Mr Robert Mensah, Principal Economics Officer with the Climate Financing Unit of the Ministry of Finance, noted that Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) often complained of inadequate budgets adding that they could take advantage of some of the funding opportunities like the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Global Environment Fund (GEF), and Adaptation Fund, among others.
Mr Mensah said they needed to develop their capacity on proposal development that met the fund requirement, and in doing so they needed to build the capacity of local planners on mobilizing funds, understanding the fiducial requirement of the fund, and getting scientific data to back their proposals so they could win bigger grants.
Dr William Quarmine, a Researcher, International Water Management Institute (IWMI), explained that every year as part of their project, they work with development planners, agricultural officers, gender desk officers, NGOs and other development partners in the Upper West Region and the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District in the North East Region.
He said they work with them to understand how society was transforming and how they could integrate their development activities into the transformation pathways of society including developing interventions to create positive social transformation.
“This year we want to link the development partners that we work with every year with climate financing opportunities, hence we work together with the NDPC, EPA, and the Ministry of Finance to identify a list of climate financing opportunities that districts or regions could come together to apply for,” he said.