Statement by H.E. Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, Hon. Minister of Environment of Ghana

 CVF Forum of Vulnerable Nations at Pre-COP

4 October 2022

Excellencies, Esteemed Guests and fellow participants,


It is with a great sense of honour that I open this inaugural Forum of Vulnerable Nations. Ghana is proud to have been leading the efforts of the CVF since May of this year. We follow in the footsteps of the ambitious leadership of Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and former CVF Chair.

I am glad to see you all here today, as we meet to advance our shared priorities for COP27 and issue the ‘Accra-Kinshasa’ Communiqué of the Climate Vulnerable Forum. These priorities, developed via consultation with the membership of the Forum, unite us as climate vulnerable nations.

Our overarching agenda is not nuanced, it is simple. That is to halt the rapidly accelerating climate crisis that is destroying both lives and livelihoods in our nations at a rate not seen anywhere else on the planet.

I need not remind you of the state of our planet, for you, as the leaders of the most climate vulnerable nations, can see that the natural order of our planet is being wholly disrupted. The impacts of climate change are already being painfully felt. This is not an issue that faces us in the distant future, this is our lived reality today.

Today, we are experiencing more extreme weather events, rising sea levels, floods, droughts, powerful cyclones and dwindling supplies of freshwater. The list goes on, but the fact of the matter is that our people are suffering, and our economies are experiencing significant damage.

This is why it is so important for us to come together and take action. To show the world that we are not giving up. That we are willing to fight for our very survival. To state with confidence, that our people matter, that our nations matter, and that we choose a future of prosperity and climate security.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a right to safely exist on this planet.

We are working hard within our capacities to build resilience in our communities and economies. We are planting trees, investing in renewable energy, and promoting sustainable practices. But we can only do so much to adapt, the root cause of climate change must be addressed. That cause is the emissions of the developed nations, emissions that to this very day continue to rise.

The major emitters urgently need to submit NDCs that are in line with the 1.5°C target. This goal represents a threshold of survival for the most vulnerable, and we cannot accept passing this tipping point.

The scale of global adaptation action is insufficient to meet the challenge we face. It must be rapidly accelerated. This makes it vital that progress be made on the Global Goal on Adaptation, securing its operationalization and ensuring that the most vulnerable countries receive adequate support to implement their adaptation actions through the strengthening of the Adaptation Fund, among other measures.

The scale of destruction we are witnessing is unprecedented and is occurring with a frequency that leaves little room for the most vulnerable to adapt or recover. That is why we are calling for the establishment of a dedicated international funding commitment and mechanisms to address climate change loss and damage.  The IPCC can play a key role in understanding the scale of this crisis, which is why we propose that COP27 mandate the IPCC to develop a Special Report on Loss and Damage.

Our own report shows that climate change has already eliminated over one fifth of the wealth of the most vulnerable economies. This crisis feeds itself, with the countries with the least capacity having to foot the largest bills, diverting desperately needed funds from education, healthcare, and development to fight the latest climate disaster. We must ensure they are compensated for a crisis which they had no hand in creating.

Access to finance shouldn’t be a barrier to taking climate action now. We are also calling for a standalone “Implementation Plan” for how the crucial decision on doubling adaptation funding by 2025 is being executed by developed nations. Regarding the new collective quantified goal on climate finance post-2025, it must adequately respond to the needs of the most vulnerable countries, learning from the experience of the as yet unfulfilled $100 billion goal

We must also use this opportunity to launch our own Climate Prosperity Plans, or CPPs. These plans will drive investment into ambitious adaptation, nature-based and renewable energy efforts on the ground. Multiple member countries are already developing these actionable strategies for how our countries will be able to adapt and thrive in a changing climate. These plans will show the world that it is possible to grow our economies while also taking action on climate change.


We are united in the face of adversity by our vulnerability. We stand together at the very frontline of the most rapid change of the Earth’s climate in history. Our vulnerability is also one of our greatest strengths. Our communities are finding innovative ways to adapt to climate change. Our global leadership is resulting in significant progress at the global level. Much of the progress of climate change would be impossible without our efforts. We are leading, and for that we should be proud.

Have no doubt, we will overcome the challenges that we are presented with. Together, we will move from vulnerability to prosperity. Together, our voices will resonate around the world.

Thank you all for your time, and I wish you all a successful meeting.


Download: Opening Statement H.E. Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, Hon. Minister of Environment of Ghana