Ghanaian businesses are being encouraged to take advantage of existing opportunities in the carbon market to expand their profits margins, increase employment, and help achieve the national carbon reduction and removal targets under the Paris Agreement.
Dr Daniel Tutu Benefoh, Ghana’s Focal Person to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said Ghana was focusing on tapping into the fortunes of the carbon market by creating demand for 24 million tonnes of carbon emissions as part of its climate mitigation measures.
He therefore encouraged private sector businesses to generate innovative technology concepts for projects in alignment with the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and regulations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Dr Benefoh was speaking at an information event in Accra, organised by the EPA in collaboration with the KliK Foundation, a Swiss private Organisation for Climate Protection and Carbon Offset.
The event was to share knowledge on the cooperation opportunities that existed for the Ghanaian business sector, with a primary focus on waste from energy, agriculture, transport and green cooling, and discuss Ghana’s Article 6.2 framework.
He said the recent conclusion of work on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement established a new mechanism to supervise the international carbon market activity.
The Paris Agreement also sets out a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming below 2 degrees Celsius and pursuing efforts to limit it further to 1.5 degree Celsius, and further aimed to strengthen countries’ ability to deal with the impacts of climate change and support them in their efforts.
Dr Benefoh said to tap into the fortunes of this market, Ghana had completed negotiations and signed a bilateral agreement with the Swiss Confederation towards the implementation of Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement, which had been ratified by Parliament to pave way for implementation.
Under the bilateral agreement, the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI) and the EPA, had been collaborating with the KliK Foundation, in the implementation of climate mitigation activities using the carbon market under Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement, he said.
He said the agreement among other things seeks, to implement emission reduction projects to generate the Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs), units (i.e., certified carbon credits), from the new mechanism for the international emissions trading between Parties to the Paris Agreement.
It also sets out the rules governing how the ITMOs ideas were to be generated, implemented, monitored, verified, quantified, priced, and transferred for payment.
Dr Benefoh gave highlights on Ghana’s Article 6.2 Framework strategy, among which, project ideas generated by businesses must have various legal backing including a letter of authorisation from the EPA and signed by MESTI before project commencement.
He said there would be systems in place to ensure the production of quality ITMOs which would be given unique serial numbers that could be traced globally, for integrity and to prevent double issuance.
Mr Ebenezer Appah-Sampong, the Deputy Executive Director of Environmental Protection Agency, said the Paris Agreement had become an international standard for business action, and as countries worked to implement their national climate plans and policies, more businesses were now reducing emissions and building climate resilience programmes.
He said already several private Ghanaian businesses had expressed interest to take advantage of the opportunities on the carbon market, and the event offered a good platform for these players to engage with the officials from the KliK Foundation for further knowledge and information.
Mr Philipp Stalder, the Swiss Ambassador, stressed on the need to mobilise political support, and strengthen stakeholder collaboration with the private sector to give life to the Paris Agreement.
Ms Jacqueline Jakob, the Director, International Relations of Klik Foundation, said the cooperation with Ghana, would enable both countries to jointly achieve more in them against climate change than they could achieve on an individual basis.
She said the Klik Foundation had currently identified suitable activities from the Swiss perspective to be supported over the long term, and currently programmes in the areas of photovoltaics, waste management and landfill sites, as well as efficient cooking stoves were being developed.
“However, the potential is far from being exhausted by these programmes,” she said, and encouraged businesses to generate more innovative climate and environmentally friendly concepts.
Ms Jakob explained that proposals that were successful in the evaluation stage would be supported in their implementation by the Foundation and financed over a long term once they had been successfully launched.