The Youth Coalition for Promotion of the SDGs in Ghana is calling on political parties to use their platforms for climate change sensitization.
Citing a low literacy rate on climate change, the coalition entreats the political parties to highlight “the need to protect the environment and desist from activities that increase the threat of climate change.”
“We believe that such political gestures will signal strong political support for climate action and as well set the agenda for broad base sensitization of the Ghanaian populace.”
A petition signed by Convenor of the Coalition, Gaeten Agbaam, called for an “inclusion of climate change and environmental related concerns as key priority areas in 2020 elections manifesto of all political parties (agenda setting).”
The Sustainable Development Goal 13, Combating Climate Change entreats various countries to develop both mitigation and adaptation practices to reduce the impact of human activities on the planet.
Below is the full statement from the coalition;
Press Statement by Youth Coalition for promotion of the SDGs in Ghana (YC_SDGs) on a petition to mainstream climate change sensitization into political party activities ahead of the 2020 general elections in Ghana.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press,
The Youth Coalition for promotion of the SDGs in Ghana (YC_SDGs) by this open statement wishes to announce that we have successfully submitted a petition to all major political parties in Ghana (NPP, NDC, CPP, PPP and PNC) demanding that they mainstream climate change sensitization into their political activities ahead of the 2020 general elections.
Just like many other countries in the world, Ghana continues to be affected by the risk of climate change with threats to food security, livelihoods, water, sanitation, hydropower and individual health. Nonetheless, during election campaigns we hear more of everything else (for example schools, hospitals, roads etc) but less on climate change and the environment.
Interestingly, recent findings from the Afrobarometer 2018 survey in Ghana indicates that about 48% of Ghanaians have no knowledge whatsoever about climate change. More so, out of the 52% that profess knowledge of climate change, only 21% are in fact climate change literate (meaning they have heard about climate change, associate it with negative consequences and attribute human activity as a major cause). Thus, the need for climate change literacy and sensitization amongst Ghanaians remain very urgent.
Distinguished pressmen and women, It is in view of the above that we turn to political parties as vehicles to drive the climate change sensitization agenda. Since independence, political parties in Ghana have always been major stakeholders in national development. Based on the architecture of our democracy, political parties are usually either in government or are government-in-waiting. Either way, they represent a very strong and solid force in the discussion/resolution of very important national issues. The coalition acknowledges this fact, hence we believe that political parties have a very important role to play in the fight against climate change in Ghana.
Especially as we enter into the political campaigns season for the 2020 general elections, Political parties will command huge public platforms to disseminate their messages. We therefore envisage that these platforms could as well be used to sensitize supporters about the need to protect the environment and desist from activities that increases the threat of climate change. We believe that such political gestures will signal strong political support for climate action and as well set the agenda for broad base sensitization of the Ghanaian populace.
Ladies and gentlemen, in our petition to the political parties we demanded the following:
The inclusion of climate change and environmental related concerns as key priority areas in 2020 elections manifesto of all political parties(agenda setting).
A statement by all political parties signaling commitment and support for youth action (youth led initiatives) in the fight against climate change in Ghana.
The Implementation of a deliberate policy of climate change sensitization in all public speeches of party flagbearers, as well as party leadership at all levels ahead of the 2020 general elections.
The coalition is therefore calling on the media to help monitor political messaging on climate change and environmental issues by all political parties during the campaign and to help amplify such statements when they are made on political platforms during the entire electioneering campaign process.
The coalition will from August 2020 implement “a name and praise” project in which we will monitor, rate and publish monthly scorecards on Climate Change and Environmental issues centred on party manifestos and the speeches of all flagbearers during the 2020 general elections campaign. We, therefore, call on all Ghanaians, especially you in the media to help us realize this objective.
Climate change is real and the time to act is now.
God bless our homeland Ghana.
Convenor of the Coalition.
Issued in Accra on 02.07.2020
Gaeten Agbaam- Convenor
Mismanagement at Ankaful hospital – Location
Psychiatric Hospital Cape Coast
Tongo opposite the police station