VRA To Meet Youth Climate Activists On Proposed Coal Plant In Ghana

Ghana’s energy generator and supplier, the Volta River Authority (VRA), is scheduled to meet youth climate activists in March, to deliberate on the proposed establishment of coal power plant in the country, which government says would generate sufficient power to meet Ghana’s energy demand.


The meeting, which will involve 350 Ghana Reducing Our Carbon (G-ROC), a youth led climate movement organisation, affiliated to the international environmental organization, 350.org and VRA, follows a consistent activities initiated by 350 G-ROC in Ghana to call on the government to rescind its decision on the establishment of the coal power plant.

Volta River Authority
Volta River Authority

The meeting follows scoping announcement (in January 2016) of the government’s intention to collaborate with the Shenzhen Energy Group co., ltd. of China (SEC) to develop a 2x350MW super critical coal fired generating units (including affiliated coal handling terminal) at Ekumfi within the coastal areas of Ekumfi District in central region of Ghana.

The scoping notice indicated that the project dubbed as the 2x350MW Super critical Coal Fired Power Plant represents the first phase of the development which is to be further expanded either by a 4x450MW (or 2x600MW) super critical coal fired generating units.

The announcement therefore called for concerns relating to the environmental effects of project.

The grass-rootyouth movement has held series of activities in the past such as youth forum and rally in the proposed location of the project to sensitise the youth and the entire community about the adverse effects of coal power plant to their livelihoods as well as environment. Moreover, various petitions and social media campaigns has taken place all geared towards ensuring that Ghana’s environment is free from hazardous impact of coal power plant.

Thecoal plant to be located in the central region, has sparked lots of debates especially on the associated problems of such fossil fuel, regarded as the dirtiest of all types of fossil fuels. But, again, others who support the initiative say it is the cheapest form of energy, hence Ghana’s decision to establish the coal power plant to solve energy crisis, which has recently become stable, with intermittent power cut.

Globally, many coal power plants are being shut down due to the harmful health implications as well as on the environment. The new climate deal arrived at theParis COP 21 seems to minimise greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere to prevent any catastrophe to the planet.

With more emphasis on application of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, which are sustainable, Ghana will not be adhering to the legally binding principles which the country is a signatory to at the COP 21. Again, the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals place emphasis on clean and affordable energy.

The use of coal to produce energy is regarded globally as dangerous to the activities of mankind and the society in general. Several studies conducted by many organisations such as the World Health Organisation show that coal pollution causes approximately one million deaths annually across the world.

Coal power plant produces lots of nitrogen oxides. The health effects of nitrogen oxides exposure range from eye, nose and throat irritation at low levels of exposure to serious damage to the tissues of the upper respiratory tract, fluid build-up in the lungs and death at high exposure levels.

Currently Ghana emits about 24 megatonnes of carbon dioxide a year and developing a coal fired power station will certainly compromise the state of the environment as it emits more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

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