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Event in New York - Climate Diplomacy Action - with Ghanaian participation

30.09.2015  17:37

The Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Kristian Jensen, Sunday hosted the side event ‘Climate Diplomacy Action’ in New York in the margin of the United Nations General Assembly. The objective was to build bridges and create alliances across the traditional negotiation groups and create a positive momentum towards the Climate Conference (COP21) in Paris .

The Ghanaian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, H.E. Hanna Tetteh was invited to set the scene for further deliberations. As regards to climate financing, H.E. Hanna Tetteh underlined the importance of taking local settings into account. Ghana, for example, had a high energy coverage (76%), but still not enough capacity for the industry. This made both growth and development more difficult. She continued that partnerships were fine, but should also contain knowledge-sharing so countries like Ghana could benefit from others’ experiences and solutions to the challenges. At the same time, there should be greater focus on government-to-government cooperation at local level. H.E. Hanna Tetteh was not convinced that the green solutions necessarily were the best for development countries like Ghana. Hydro energy had shown not to be the way forward for Ghana and solar panels were expensive. Finally, she emphasized that sustainable energy of course is important, but so is development.

In the following discussion, several countries like UK, Sweden, Germany, Norway, Luxembourg and Denmark, emphasized that economic growth, employment and sustainable development should go hand-in-hand. The Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs mentioned that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) precisely were about following sustainable development and consumption patterns.

Development countries such as Kenya and Bangladesh spoke about concrete examples of the negative experiences of climate change with floodings and threats to the food security situation, which was very de-stabilizing.

The Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs concluded that there is a need for more ‘climate champions’ and the Ministers for Foreign Affairs have a role to play by using their network and contributing to broaden the discussion also to include employment, growth and security.

Besides the Danish and Ghanaian Ministers for Foreign Affairs, there were participants from Bangladesh, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK, Kenya and the EU.

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