General News of Friday, 14 June 2019
The Chief Executive Officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Mr Mohammed Adjei-Sowah, has challenged financial institutions and private sector actors to take advantage of the immense economic opportunities in the circular economy – an economic system aimed at minimising waste and making the most of resources.
This, according to him, would go a long way to help mitigate the effects of climate change.
Mr Adjei-Sowah who is also a Vice-Chair of C40 Cities was speaking at a Forum on Financing Sustainable African Cities in Johannesburg, South Africa, hosted by C40 Cities’ Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative (FSCI), and supported by the Citi Foundation.
The Forum aims to highlight the huge investment opportunity in Africa, to pave the way for a more sustainable future and provide a platform to showcase the potential of Africa’s city-level projects and opportunities available for investment to fight climate change.
“Climate change issues are development issues; we must ensure projects and developments are sustainable. We must also find solutions to financing projects that achieve climate change innovations… There is a big economic incentive in the circular economy and financial institutions and private sector actors must rise to the challenge,” he said.
“We are not short of ideas, we are short of capital, our biggest issue right now is raising finance for sustainable development,” Mr Adjei-Sowah, who is also a Board Member of the Global Covenant of Mayor’s (GCoM) said.
The mayor, who was recently named among the “World’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Change Policy 2019” noted that in the city of Accra, the authorities are partnering the private sector to work towards achieving a 50% reduction in waste to landfill.
He also emphasised the importance of cities paying greater attention to the issue of climate change.
“Sustainable issues are development issues”, the mayor said, adding: “Today, climate change is not an abstract issue but a development issue in Africa and the world”.
“May, June, July are rainy seasons in Accra, with the possibility of flooding. It’s important for us to explain to residents how our local actions impact on our environment,” he said.
The Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, who also spoke at the forum, emphasised the need for developing cities to focus on sustainability, given that they face the brunt of climate change, despite not being the biggest contributors.
He noted that developing cities are faced with the challenge of expanding economic growth, providing water, electricity and other resources, and keeping dissent at bay when those needs are not made available as quickly as possible.
Owing to this, the issues of climate change and sustainability were not as big a priority for developing cities as they should be, he said.
“It is integral to put sustainability at the forefront and centre of cities’ daily work”, he averred.
Other speakers at the forum include His Excellency Ambassador Bene LofongoM’poko, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in South Africa; Jerrod Moodley of Rand Merchant Bank and Val Smith, Managing Director and Global Head, Corporate Sustainability, Citi.
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