An Africa-led research endeavour aimed at scrutinizing financial investments in oil exploration and industrial agriculture has conclusively established that bank financing plays a significant role in exacerbating climate change.
This revelation has spurred ActionAid’s “Fund Our Future” campaign, designed to combat climate change globally by tracing how investment funding aggravates climate-related issues.
John Nkaw, Country Director of ActionAid Ghana, disclosed that the 2023 research, conducted under the theme “How the Finance Flows,” seeks to engage policymakers on matters concerning greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pollution. Its goal is to provide valuable insights that can inform policy formulation to effectively address climate change.
The research findings underscore the alarming contribution of nitrogen fertilizer-dependent industrial agribusinesses to environmental pollution, prompting serious concerns.
Nkaw emphasized during an interview with Citi News that the substantial investments in industrial agriculture and petroleum subsectors pose a looming danger for Africa due to the immense resources allocated to these sectors. He stated, “In recent years, banks and institutions like Citigroup have directed over USD 370 billion into the industrial agribusiness subsector, with an additional 3.2 trillion invested in petroleum exploration.”
The recommendations stress the need for banks to divest from these sectors and redirect resources toward adaptive agriculture with emphasis on smallholder women farmers who play a pivotal role in ensuring food security in the country.
“Statistics reveal that women in Ghana make substantial contributions to our food production. Therefore, it is crucial to channel investments into their farming practices.”
Government and development partners have received an urgent appeal to consider debt swaps and relief programs as a means to finance adaptive agriculture, which promises a safer and more environmentally friendly approach to combating climate-related challenges.
In an interview with Mariam Issah, a farmer, she shared with Citi News her concerns about the excessive use of chemical fertilizers depleting soil fertility.
She called on her fellow farmers to consider the use of compost manure, which not only yields positive results but also contributes to environmental protection.