By Josephine Naaeke, GNA
Accra, Oct 17, GNA - Mayors and participants from various countries to discuss African Local strengthening and cooperation with states and non-state actors to tackle climate change are part of the three-day Climate Chance Africa Summit underway in Accra, Ghana
The Conference of the covenant of Mayors in Sub Saharan Africa (COMASSA) are deliberating on climate issues on the theme: “Stepping Up Local Climate Action An Africa”.
Topics under discussion are; financing the implementation of local action plan, moving towards locally determined contributions (LDCs), strengthening the triangular cooperation, joint actions and synergies with other initiatives, strategies and operational orientation for the next phase of the CoMSSA.
Divided into plenary sessions, its objective is to understand how decentralisation promotes the implementation of climate and development policies and actions at the local level with the need for better articulation between the different roles of local and non-state actors working on the grounds.
Debates during the plenary session will focus on issues including; how does decentralisation promote climate policy and action in Africa and how can local climate action enhance the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions, the solution for accelerating climate action among others.
The Covenant of Mayors emphasise on the preparation of the Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEACAP).
Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development of Ghana in her remarks said four years since the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa project was launched, it was time for participants to share experiences and to showcase concrete results of what they were able to do for the past four years.
She said for the success stories, it would be important to put them out there for others to replicate to avoid going through similar challenges.
She said over 200 Sub-Saharan African cities and local authorities signed up voluntarily to the initiative having passed resolutions to this effect and thousands expressed interest in it.
“This is proof of the understanding of the urgency that is required to combat the adverse effects of the climate change and “I believe that if all African cities and local governments were to formulate and implement their plan, we would be responding to climate change head-on.”
She called on cities and district assemblies of Ghana to sign up to the project because of its benefits especially since the office of the Covenant of Mayors was located here in Accra.
“This will meet several objectives: to effectively fight the climate change in a comprehensive manner, providing safe, efficient, sufficient, clean and affordable energy to the population especially the poor and vulnerable, reducing Green House Gases in the atmosphere and also contributing to the identifying and addressing national climate change mitigation and adaptation priorities. The overall objective is to improve the conditions of livelihood of our population and of course contribute in saving our planet.”
She called on cities and local governments to integrate climate change actions in their development plans with the overall objective of improving the conditions of livelihood.
She also appealed to financing institutions and development partners to support the cities in whatever challenges they encounter in capacity enhancement, material support, city to city cooperation, study tours, allocation of funds among others to share experiences and lessons learnt.
The Ministry in collaboration with Clean Cooking Alliance and World Education Incorporated, has adopted community action to increase the use and access to clean fuels and stoves through the school feeding programme.
Ten (10) pilot Schools across Southern and Northern Ghana were fitted with 40 fuel efficient institutional stoves to demonstrate a cleaner and more efficient way to using fuels.
Additionally, MMDAs are implementing the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme to promote planting of trees and cash crops such as cashew, cocoa, mango, coffee and shear butter to enhance exports, job creation and promote carbon reserves.
“I also understand the Covenant of Mayors initiative has come to stay in Africa. Given the importance of the Climate Change Agenda in Africa in particular and in the World in general, I urge you to continue with the good work. I wish to commend the Implementing Partners of the project for the good work done.
“I also wish to reiterate the call made in 2016 by the African Union Commission during the Advisory Board meeting of the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa that it should be Covenant of Mayors - Africa and not Sub-Saharan Africa like you call it now. It is our hope and wish that moving forward, it should be the Covenant of Mayors - Africa.
Journalists who covered the Summit were also trained on how to report on climate issues.
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