African nations early players in shaping climate-change pact

Jean-Claude Juncker
Jean-Claude Juncker | Contributed photo
The Paris Climate Change Conference (CoP21) earlier this month saw 195 nations --  including Ghana, one of the first African countries to release a national strategy for emission reduction -- enter into an agreement (legally binding if at least 55 nations sign on to it) outlining benchmarks and initiatives aimed at reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

Countries from Africa and the European Union (EU) were forerunners in the negotiations that led to the agreement. To help less-developed nations involved in the agreement, more advanced countries pledged $100 billion in annual support for initiatives that are part of the agreement.

“Today, the world is united in the fight against climate change," European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on the day the agreement was signed. "Today, the world gets a lifeline, a last chance to hand over to future generations a world that is more stable, a healthier planet, fairer societies and more prosperous economies. This robust agreement will steer the world toward a global clean energy transition.

"This agreement drives us forward on our path to limiting global temperature rises to below 2 degrees, or even 1.5 degrees, if action happens quickly enough," Juncker said. "The whole Paris process has already resulted in transformational action that will have a real impact on the ground in countries, cities and communities around the world."

A Ghana Day event was held during CoP21, during which the nation's officials pledged to keep climate-change issues at the forefront and to be transparent with them and accountable for decisions regarding climate change. Leaders from the EU and other CoP21 nations expressed their intention to support climate-education programs in Ghana.

The long-term, ultimate goal of the agreement is near net zero emissions by the end of the century.

Organizations in this story

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