Climate change and Green Development

@Lewis Smith


The longstanding challenge of climate change over the years, underscored by rapid accumulation of physical, financial, and human capital via excessive depletion and degradation of natural capital, is a fundamental stumbling block to the achievement of the targets of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. These “brown economy” model-based approaches have contributed substantially to the acceleration of carbon emissions into the atmosphere, led to social marginalisation, environmental degradation, and resource depletion. Thus, the utilisation of green development approaches to underpin present and future development pathways – including the use of hydrogen fuels in modern vehicles, utilisation of solar and wind energy sources, organic farming/climate smart agriculture, sustainable exploitation of forest and other natural resources – has become sine qua non in recent times on sustainability grounds. The shift from this “brown economy” pathway of development to the “green economy” development paradigm, requires various imperatives: national regulations, standards, policies (global and national), international market and legal infrastructure, trade, technical assistance, and capable institutional set-ups. ISSER’s research will focus on generating knowledge on these issues and how to foreground them in the development policy discourse of Ghana and Africa as a whole.