View Full Version : Innovative projects help communities adapt to climate change

14th December 2011, 12:42 AM
Some non-governmental organizations in Ghana engaged in carbon emission related activities have embarked on innovative projects to support climate change adaptation mechanisms in local communities.

Edward Antwi, Assistant Director of the Kumasi-based Centre for Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development (CEESD), says involving and educating local communities in adaptation mechanisms are crucial because “they are going to feel the full brunt of climate change when it occurs.”

Climate negotiators at the just-ended UN Climate Summit in Durban, South Africa made progress in setting up of an advisory body on adaptation and also agreed to the establishment of the Green Climate Fund to aid developing countries.

Whilst the biggest polluters are being forced to take action on greenhouse gas emissions for the purpose of mitigation, Mr. Antwi says Ghana should begin building capacity to benefit from carbon trading under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol.

“The capacity is very low and I think that we can do more by training some core staff and if government is really serious about it then I think more money should be pumped into possibly registering as many POAs as possible”, he stated.

Registered Programme of Activities (POAs) under the CDM have a lifetime of 28 years.

Mr. Antwi is therefore calling for a concerted national policy geared towards encouraging and supporting individuals and NGOs to register as many POAs as possible.

The CEESD is currently pursuing projects in line with the CDM arrangement, including the promotion of efficient cook stoves, which cut down on carbon dioxide emission by 50 percent and reduce the amount of fuel used.

“Indirectly if you’re cutting down on fuel consumption, then it means you are cutting down on trees that are being fell to produce charcoal and also firewood,” he said.

The organization also has a project at the Kumasi Abattoir where the release of methane into the atmosphere - 21 times more harmful than carbon dioxide - is trapped for other beneficial use.
According to Mr. Antwi, the trapped waste product offers the dual benefit of electricity generation and reduction of the effects of gases in the atmosphere.

“We are not heavy polluters per se, so the attention should not be more on mitigation but on adaptation,” he noted.