By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA
Accra, June 30, GNA - Mr Robert Mensah, an Economist with the Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Unit of the Ministry of Finance, has said institutions in Ghana were seeking to access 320 million dollars from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
He said the monies from the GCF would go into infrastructure and programmes to combat climate change and adapt to its worst effects on communities.
He said if Ghanaian institutions secure the funds it would ensure adequate protection of citizens’ rights, especially the youth and women from the effects of climate change.
Mr Mensah noted that the funds would go into building flood defences, irrigation systems, emergency shelters, re-forestation projects and renewable energy to fight climate change.
He said this at a workshop in Accra on Friday on Climate Finance Integrity organised by the Ghana Integrity Initiative, the local chapter of Transparency International, an anti-corruption international organisation.
Mr Mensah said the Ministry was facilitating efforts of institutions to write bankable proposals adding that the difficulty was that a lot of institutions and individuals that submitted proposals to the Ministry failed to meet the criteria set by the funding agencies.
He said the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation was putting together a strong team that would develop projects that would meet the criteria set by funding agencies.
Mr Mensah said climate finance was monies invested to help countries prevent climate change and adapt to its worst effects.
The funds were pledged by rich and carbon-emitting countries to poorer and climate-vulnerable countries to combat climate change, he said.
Mrs Mary Addah, the Programmes Manager of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, said as part of the negotiation leading to the Paris Agreement, world leaders agreed to mobilise 100 billion dollars in climate finance by 2020.
The amount, she said, if spent judiciously would save millions of lives and ensure billions of lives were safe in the future.
She said Transparency International had been working on climate finance since the launch of its Global Corruption Report on climate change in 2011.
Mrs Addah said the organisation’s multi-country Climate Finance Integrity Programme, being implemented in more than 12 countries and coordinated by Transparency Initiative Secretariat in Berlin, would safeguard climate money against abuse, waste and mismanagement.
She said Transparency International was implementing measures to ensure maximum transparency, accountability and integrity at all levels.
In addition, it would ensure that climate change-affected communities take ownership over deciding where climate monies should be invested.
The workshop brought together experts and practitioners in the environmental and natural resource sectors, heads of department and representatives of development partners as well as civil society organisations to discuss best practices for climate finance governance.