Dr Delali Dovie of the Regional Institute of Population Studies, University of Ghana has called for financial assessment of the impact of climate change in the country to identify how much the nation is losing to the phenomenon.
Climate change, a global problem, is caused by the concentration of greenhouse gases produced through human activities such burning of fossil fuel, principal petroleum for industry and transport; deforestation, agricultural activities and growing population. This has caused environmental degradation and natural disasters which is making the issue of poverty reduction inevitable.
He noted that Ghana has failed to undertake a financial appraisal of the toll of climate change and noted that the country has only been featured partially on a pilot basis in a global study by the World Bank.
Dr Dovie explained that it was important to assess the financial implications of climate change as it might not impact GDP of the country.
“For example, in a sector like energy if we do not have water in the Akosombo dam to generate power it would mean we have to shut down and that would affect industry as well as households,” said the lecturer. “If we are not careful we may have people losing their jobs and that would mean production going down and revenue generated will definitely reduce.
“All these combined is a developmental threat as far as climate change is concerned,” he added, emphasizing that the nation has to know what it is losing as a country as a results of climate change.
Ghana is experiencing some leakages but we have not put financial value to the agricultural sector which is a major source of income for more than a half of the nation’s working population. It is still rain fed and has been recording reduction in production as a result of changes in rainfall patterns, he indicated.
“For a fact we know we have a lot of subsistent farmers who depend solely on farming and yet we have agric being rain fed it means we should be concerned when we do not have the rains falling on time which could lead to poor yields and diminishing income.”
On what players in the oil industry, particularly oil companies could do, he was of the view that though their activities were offshore there were some indirect operations relating to the industry that contribute to the emission of green house gases.
He challenged the oil companies to look beyond their Corporate Social Responsibility by considering going into green as far as their area of operations are concerned.
“They have not properly integrated the issue of global warming and climate change in their corporate social responsibility that is why it is not part of their core corporate social responsibility,” said Dr Dovie.
He revealed that “global warming affects people so if they help to cut emissions then they will be contributing to society and development as a whole.”
He suggested the setting up a fund which could support food security, commercial enterprises, disaster management, agriculture, education, insurance as far as climate change is concerned.
From Emelia Ennin Abbey, Akosombo