Christabel Addo/Joyce Danso, GNA
Accra, May 31, GNA - The Civil Society Platform on Climate Change (SDG 13) in Ghana, has applauded the efforts of the Ministry of Finance to involve them in the ongoing national Green Climate Change Fund (GCF) processes.
They, however, called for a structured dialogue that would ensure better collaboration and transparency in the entire process.
The GCF has been established to ‘Promote the paradigm shift towards low emission and climate-resilient development by providing support to developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change’.
The ambition of the GCF is therefore to leverage and facilitate significant portion of future climate finance from both the public and private sector, with $ 100 billion by 2020 pledged by developed countries.
However, countries looking to access funding support from the GCF were required to set up a number of processes and structures, including a Focal Point or NDA possibly one or more NIEs, who would together develop proposals that met the high fiduciary standards of the Fund and aligned with the country’s climate change policies or priorities through multi-stakeholder engagement.
Mr Chibeze Ezekiel, the Coordinator of the Kasa Environment and Climate Change Working Group, at a media briefing in Accra on Wednesday, said the full involvement of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the GCF process was crucial.
This, he said, was because together they could then develop proposals to meet the high fiduciary standards of the Fund and align with the country’s climate change policies or priorities through multi-stakeholder engagement.
Mr Ezekiel said to ensure this, the Platform had called upon the Ministry of Finance to implement the “Consultative Guidelines for the Government of Ghana and Civil Society Organisation engagement, and the Framework for Enhanced Engagement in the Natural Resource and Environment Sector”.
He said these documents were commissioned by the Finance Ministry in 2015 as part of the Natural Resource and Environment Programme (NREG).
The Platform, he said, further called for the active participation of the Finance Ministry in the quarterly meetings organised by civil society as part of their commitment to ensure a structured channel of learning and information sharing between the NDA Secretariat and CSOs as well as other stakeholders.
It urged the Ministry to also intensify public education and awareness creation on the GCF, and further commit the needed technical and financial resources to ensure Ghana accessed the funding necessary for the country to meet its Nationally Determined Contributions (Gh-NDCs) agenda.
He explained that the press conference was to present the Platform’s position on the status of the GCF processes in Ghana, and also enlighten the public on the involvement of CSOs in the development of policies, strategies and programmes that hinged on both adaptation and mitigation mechanisms in dealing with the impact of climate change.
Mr Ezekiel said Ghana in June 2015, qualified as a beneficiary of a GCF Readiness programme, which was a global programme to support countries for enhanced access to international climate finance.
He said although the programme ended in December 2017, it had strengthened national capacities to effectively and efficiently plan for, access, manage, deploy and monitor climate financing, in particular, through the GCF.
He stated that the SDG 13 Platform through the Kasa Initiative Ghana, and with support from CARE international, Ghana, had since 2017 undertaken several events as part of its contribution to the climate change agenda.
These included the provision of space for learning and sharing among members, adding that presently, the Kasa Initiative Ghana with support from CARE International Ghana, a civil society coalition, was implementing a GCF-CSOs Readiness Project to among others, assist CSOs to proactively engage with governments, NIEs and national stakeholders.
Mr Ezekiel said currently two local entities made up of ECOBANK Ghana and the Social Investment Fund (SIF) have qualified as the two national institutions to access the GCF, and were now undergoing the processes for accreditation.
In interview with the GNA, Mr Kwame Obeng Nti, the Acting Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, and Secondary Focal Point in charge of the GCF Accreditation Process at the SIF, said the process took time, required a lot of strategizing, planning and commitment of substantial material, human and financial resources.
It was a very intrusive interrogation of the organisation’s capabilities, systems, policies, processes and procedures, and thus required robust policy directives, controls and regulatory environment, He said.