Kwabena Adu Koranteng writes: Using Basic Tools to Fight Climate Change
Government must also take up the task of producing and providing special dustbins to homes and residential facilities where only plastics would be kept.
Basic tools and methods can be successfully used to fight climate change in Ghana. One of the many simple methods that can be used to fight climate change is to involve school children from the primary to secondary school in tree planting and street cleaning exercises all over the country.
Tree planting exercises being implemented by government should not target only diplomats from the diplomatic missions and the high class in society as has been the practice. We need to engage school children and students who have time and can use these activities as part of their school duties to nurture the trees after planting them. Planting of trees and nurturing them can be added to the school curriculum as part of the practical general agriculture and general science studies in schools.
I also believe that parents will feel bad when they realize they are cutting down trees planted by their children for illegal mining or illegal logging due to the natural bond between parents and children. The same way children will make things tough for their parents when they realize their plans and attempts to cut down trees they have planted.
Basically, these are some of the simple tools and methods that can be successfully implemented as part of the nation’s annual tree planting exercise.
Secondly, aside planting trees on degraded lands and depleted forest reserves, government can also encourage house owners and landlords in residential communities to plant trees in their homes and on their compounds. Making available fruit trees like pear or avocado, Mango, citrus, orange seedling among others freely to homeowners to plants will also help boost the tree planting exercises.
Government must also take up the task of producing and providing special dustbins to homes and residential facilities where only plastics would be kept. Be it plastic bags, plastic bottles, anything polythene would be kept for easy pickup for recycling. This will help to curb the rampant and indiscriminate way plastics are littered on our streets and dumped into the sea.
Other basic methods also include saving energy at home. This means that we should use energy saving bulbs, Energy commission approved electric gadgets and electronic appliances. We should also exercise more and Walk, bike, or take public transport, Government must introduce more electric buses that will provide transport and facilitate the movement of masses to help reduce the high rate of emissions emanating from vehicles
Electronics, clothes, and other items we buy cause carbon emissions at each point in production, from the extraction of raw materials to manufacturing and transporting goods to market. To protect our climate, buy fewer things, shop second-hand, repair what we can, and recycle the rest . Every kilogram of textiles produced generates about 17 kilograms of CO2e. Buying fewer new clothes – and other consumer goods – can reduce carbon footprint and also cut down on waste.
Everyone can help limit climate change. From the way we travel, to the electricity we use, the food we eat, and the things we buy, we can make a difference.
Greenhouse gas emissions per person vary greatly among countries. In the United States of America, emissions in 2020 (the latest available data) were 14.6 tons of CO2 equivalent per person – more than double the global average of 6.3 tons, and six times the 2.4 tons per person in India.
As of 2020, carbon emissions from the power sector in Ghana reached 6.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. This followed a steadily increasing trend visible since 2015 and represented the highest volume of emissions within the observed period. In 2000, the lowest level of emissions from electricity generation in the country was achieved at 490,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent.
To preserve a livable climate, the average emissions per person per year will need to drop to around 2 to 2.5 tons of CO2e by 2030. Start with these ten actions to help tackle the climate crisis.
Ghana aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent by 2030. Actions include improvement in energy efficiency of industrial facilities, replacement of light crude oil with natural gas in electricity generation plants and the reforestation and afforestation of 10,000 hectares of degraded lands annually. Ghana’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) identifies emission reduction actions to be undertaken between 2020 and 2030 in the energy, transportation, agriculture, forestry and land use, and waste and industry sectors.
Lifestyles are critical to tackling climate change. Minimizing the impacts of climate change requires rapid transitions in people’s lifestyles and how we organize our societies, institutions and infrastructure.
This is underscored by the fact that household consumption accounts for around two-thirds of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; lifestyle and consumption emissions at 65 per cent of the global total, the proportion to be around 72 per cent of total emissions.
On an aggregate level, compliance with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement will require reducing consumption emissions to a per capita lifestyle carbon footprint of around 2 to 2.5 tons of CO2e by 2030, and an even smaller 0.7 tons by 2050 (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] 2018;
Institute for Global Environment Strategies. Most climate mitigation pathways that seek to keep temperature rise to within 1.5°C envisage a major role for lifestyle change. The International Energy Agency has concluded that behavior change is an integral part of emissions reduction strategies that accomplish net-zero emissions by 2050, emphasizing in particular the need for changes to domestic energy use, as well as reductions in car use and passenger aviation.
By Kwabena Adu Koranteng, a Communications Specialist