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Ghana committed to carbon footprint reduction — Frimpong-Boateng

BY: Nana Konadu Agyeman
Frimpong-Boateng
Frimpong-Boateng

The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, has assured the international community of Ghana’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprints through the adoption of sustainable nature-based solutions to tackle the impact of climate change.

In line with the commitment, he said the government had taken the decision to plant millions of trees, stop illegal mining to protect forests and water bodies as well as increase the renewable energy component of Ghana’s energy mix from one per cent to 10 per cent by the end of 2020.

“This month Ghana completed retro-fitting a 450 megawatts power plant so it can use natural gas instead of heavy fuel oil. We are also considering adding nuclear energy to our energy mix,” he stated.

High level segment

In a speech read on his behalf by Ghana’s Ambassador to Spain, Ms Elizabeth Adjei, at a high level segment of the just ended United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 25) in Madrid, Spain, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said, “A policy on electric mobility, which provides an incentive package for electric vehicles and high occupancy buses utilising compressed natural gas and hydrogen fuel cells, has been proposed in the 2019 budget, all in our bid to reduce our carbon footprint.”

COP 25

There are nearly 190 countries represented at this year’s UN climate talks designed to take the next crucial steps in the UN climate change process.

Following agreement on the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement at COP 24 in Poland last year, a key objective is to complete several matters in relation to the full operationalisation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Climate actions

Re-affirming Ghana’s commitment as a member of the global community to the reduction of global temperature to save the planet, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng told the delegates that Ghana had been implementing a number of initiatives in line with its national climate actions (Nationally-Determined Contributions (NDCs).

The NDCs, the minister said, had been incorporated into the National Co-ordinated Programme for Economic and Social Development Policies (2017-2024) to facilitate their full implementation.

He, however, noted that Ghana’s commitment to action on the implementation of the country’s NDCs would not be complete without forging partnerships.

“The kind of partnerships we seek are in areas of investments and technical cooperation in resilient landscape, scaling up of renewable energy and fuel diversification for electricity supply,” he stated.

National commitment

Additionally, he said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had established an Advisory Group of prominent, private sector chief executives to establish a $100 million Sustanable Development Goals Delivery Fund and a $200 million Green Fund to complement government’s efforts at tackling climate change, and funding the implementation of the SDGs.

“Nature-based solutions are also at the heart of Ghana’s climate action. We are implementing a road map to stop illegal mining and thereby restoring polluted water bodies, degraded farm lands and forests.

“Some 60,000 young people have been employed to plant trees on degraded land and so far 24 million tress have been planted,” he stated.


Building resilience

In a bid to build the country’s resilience to the impact of climate change, he said major policy interventions such as the programme for “Planting for Food and Jobs”, “One District, One Factory”, “One Village, One Dam”, had been implemented not to boost agricultural production, industrialisation and rural development.

He expressed Ghana’s supports for other parties in the call for enhanced actions to protect the ocean and water resources as reported in the Special Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on oceans.

“Additionally, Ghana is pleased with the progress made with the implementation of the Lima Work Programme (LWP) and its Gender Action Plan (GAP) as well as its subsequent review in COP 25,” he stated.