Former US Vice President Al Gore is in Accra for the first time to lead the 54thClimate Reality Leadership Training. The session is one of the largest gatherings of scientists, experts, and youth across the African continent providing an overview of the latest climate science, existing policies, solutions, and opportunities for advocates to make a difference.
Al Gore has acknowledged developing countries have done the least to cause the global crisis, but are often hit the hardest by the impacts of the climate crisis, partly because they have fewer resources to be resilient and to defend the infrastructure and the people who are affected.
He believes “we need to reform the global system for the allocation of capital so that resources are more easily available in developing countries to participate in this sustainability revolution that’s based on solar energy and wind energy, electric vehicles, batteries, regenerative agriculture, and other solutions”.
Ahead of COP28 climate talks in Dubai, Al Gore is concerned that the worldwide effort to achieve net-zero emissions is being driven by the fossil fuel industry, neglecting vital advancements in achieving key targets.
A critical subject at the global climate talks is the call for developing economies, like Ghana, to decarbonize.
Ghana has for the past decade regarded its crude oil production as a vital resource for national development and a funding source for the country’s net-zero ambitions.
With huge oil reserves remaining untapped, Ghana’s Energy Minister has stated that the country faces a real risk of stranded multi-billion oil and gas assets due to reduced funding for fossil-related projects, as the world transitions to cleaner sources of energy.
At a media roundtable, JoyNews’ Kofi Adu Domfeh posed two critical questions to Al Gore.
Question: Do you think Ghana is in a position to lead the fossil fuel decolonization?
Answer: Yes, I do think that Ghana could lead to fossil fuel decolonization. The way Ghana led the decolonization of governments on the continent of Africa, the very first country to gain independence. I use that to inspire a change, but it’s also an accurate history of what the people of Ghana have done in the past.
So we are seeing what some economists have called a resource curse, with over-dependence on one resource, fossil fuels, oil and gas, and even coal. As someone said in one of the panels today, 86% of the foreign exchange is coming from fossil fuels, but only 0.6% of the income paid out to people who have jobs is coming from fossil fuels. That means that the money from fossil fuels is going much more to the wealthy elites. And that is what happened during the period of colonization many decades ago.
So economic independence from fossil fuel colonization can be achieved with the elimination of subsidies for fossil fuels and the redirection of public funding to help subsidize the renewable sources of energy, which are cheaper, cleaner, and provide more jobs. So, I do think that Ghana could lead this needed change on the continent of Africa.
Question: Going to COP28, do you see the advanced economies getting committed to developing economies like Ghana in terms of delivering on the climate finance promises that we’ve been expecting for all this long period?
Answer: I think there is likely to be a commitment for more money from the private sector to developed countries to developing countries. I think that the amount that is committed unfortunately may not reach the levels that leaders in developing countries would like to see. And it’s never easy to describe political realities.
But I think my religious faith teaches me that it is just and fair and right for wealthy countries to give more money to poor countries. But the previous lifetime I lived in politics years ago taught me that persuading the voters to give their money to other countries is often difficult. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is.
So yes, I think there will be an additional commitment of funding. But the total amount will lead many leaders in developing countries probably to say that’s not enough. The real source of money that is needed is going to come from the private sector. And to unlock those flows from the private sector, there need to be policy reforms like the elimination of subsidies for fossil fuels and reforms at the international level such as changes at the World Bank and multilateral development banks to make it possible for countries like Ghana to gain access to the private investment capital.
Earlier, the question of Ghana’s role in fossil fuel decolonization was posed to Mohamed Adow, Founder and Director of Power Shift Africa.
He maintains Africa does not need the dirty energy of the past but needs forward-looking leadership that can take advantage of the clean energy of the present and future.
“How can you help decolonize Africa so that we can decarbonize and help put this continent on a sustainable path? Our opportunity is here today so that the continent of Africa can make the most out of 21st-century energy solutions. There is no future in charging in the footsteps of the polluter. There is opportunity in leapfrogging and leading the world in a new direction,” said Mohamed.
At COP28, there will be demands on global leaders to phase out fossil fuel emissions and stop funding fossil fuel projects; increase funding for climate solutions in countries that need it most; and reform future COP processes so that fossil fuel interest cannot block progress.
Let’s live harmoniously to safeguard Ghana’s peace – Peace Council on recent clashes
The National Peace Council (NPC) has called on Ghanaians to live harmoniously with each other to safeguard the country’s peace.
It has urged Ghanaians to protect “the peace and security of the country by creating and using avenues of tolerance, cooperation, and coexistence to sustain the country’s identity as an oasis of peace in Africa.”
This follows the unfortunate violent clashes in some parts of the country which have resulted in the deaths of some citizens.
Reports from Kintampo in the Bono East Region, Nkwanta in the Oti Region, and Wenchiki in the Northeast Region indicate that violence has led to the destruction of lives and property in these affected communities.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the NPC reminded Ghanaians “of paragraphs (c), (d) and (i) of
article 41 of the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana which states thus: The exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms is inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations, and accordingly, it shall be the duty of every citizen.”
“To foster national unity and live in harmony with others; to respect the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of others, and generally to refrain from doing acts detrimental to the welfare of other persons. To co-operate with lawful agencies in the maintenance of law and order.”
Read the full statement from the NPC here
Defence and National Security Ministers to appear before parliament today over Kintampo clash
The Ministers of Defence and National Security are expected to appear before the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament on Thursday, November 23, to provide a briefing on actions being taken by the government to forestall a clash between the Mo and Wangara tribes in the Kintampo North municipality.
This comes on the back of a summons by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin.
According to the Member of Parliament for the area, Joseph Kwame Kumah, tensions were high when the Mo tribe requested to perform rituals within the months of November and December, coinciding with the annual Klubi festival of the Wangara community.
In response to calls for a ceasefire by the MP, the Speaker directed that the government must take immediate steps to ensure peaceful coexistence.
“As the first authorities to come to this house to brief the committee on Defense and Interior, this is an urgent matter that should be handled with dispatch. I think Thursday should be okay for the two ministers and their commanders to appear before the committee early tomorrow morning by 9 am to brief the committee. It is an urgent matter.”
“The National Security Council through their regional office should immediately intervene because the chieftaincy institution is one of the cornerstones of the peace and security of our country, and we hold that institution dearly. We will do everything to prevent that institution from falling into disarray,” he stated.
Watch how Quick Credit staff violently raided restaurant over ‘unpaid loan’
Some staff of a popular loan company, Quick Credit Ghana, stormed a local restaurant to recover a loan sum.
Videos available to GhanaWeb and shared on social media showed over half a dozen male workers in violent exchanges with the staff at the restaurant said to be located at Laterbiokoshie, a suburb of Accra.
According to a person videoing the encounter, the staff had forced their way into the facility, packed up the furniture and succeeded in locking up the place before leaving.
The video, shot in the evening, however, did not show any affected customers nor did it show any casualties.
The company has yet to issue an official statement on the development. GhanaWeb is also trying to reach out to the affected businesses.
Watch the video below:
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