The country is targeting 24 million tonnes of carbon credits by 2030, reaffirming commitment to reducing carbon emissions and mitigating the impacts of climate change.
At the second joint meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts for North Africa and West Africa in Accra, Dr. John Ampontuah Kumah, Deputy Minister of Finance, shared the nation’s ambitious commitment, saying: “The country is poised to have approximately 24 million tonnes of carbon credits available for transactions on the compliance market by 2030”.
The theme of the joint meeting, ‘Investing in Energy Transition, Food Security, and Regional Value Chains for Sustainable Development in North and West Africa Sub-regions’, highlights the pressing challenges facing the two sub-regions, including food security, energy transition and the development of regional value chains, which have profound implications for their well-being and sustainable development.
Ghana became the second country in Africa after Mozambique to receive payments from a World Bank trust fund for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, commonly known as REDD+. The World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) paid Ghana US$4.86million for reducing 972,456 tonnes of carbon emissions for the first monitoring period under the programme (June to December 2019).
This payment is the first of four under the country’s Emission Reductions Payment Agreement (ERPA) with the World Bank to demonstrate potential for leveraging results-based payments for carbon credits. Subject to showing results from actions taken to reduce deforestation, Ghana is eligible to receive up to US$50million for 10 million tonnes of CO2 emissions reduced by the end of 2024.
These actions are within a six-million-hectare stretch of the West Africa Guinean Forest, where biodiversity and forests are under pressure from cocoa farming and unsustainable harvesting and small-scale mining. Ghana is one of 15 countries that have signed the ERPAs with the World Bank.
Dr. Kumah emphasised the urgent need to address these challenges, particularly in the context of over 20 million people, including at least 10 million children, facing severe food shortages in Africa as of 2022. Rising debt levels and an increasing frequency and severity of climate shocks have hindered the ability to invest in long-term climate-resilient solutions.
Despite the complex and challenging global landscape, Dr. Kumah expressed optimism. Using Ghana as an example, he highlighted the nation’s improved fiscal situation, successful reviews with the IMF, and progress toward macro stability and debt sustainability.
He said the focus now lies in securing an economic turnaround underpinned by robust institutions and an active private sector, a model that he believes can be emulated on a continental scale.
The deputy minister stressed the importance of promoting regional value chains in West Africa’s manufacturing sector, which accounts for less than 10 percent of GDP. With the African Continental Free Trade Area in play, enhancing competitiveness and building resilience to global shocks are critical.
Agricultural value chains, according to Kumah, hold the potential to transform the economic landscape of North and West Africa, addressing food insecurity, creating trading opportunities, and generating quality employment for youthful populations. He emphasised the need to scale private-sector-led initiatives for increased efficiency and productivity improvements across the continent.
Dr. Kumah turned his attention to energy poverty, acknowledging its significant hindrance to economic development and trade in Africa. He revealed that nearly half of sub-Saharan Africa lacks access to electricity, with a significant gap in rural areas. Ghana’s commitment to sustainable development and addressing climate change through the adoption of the National Energy Transition Framework was highlighted.
The deputy minister reiterated Ghana’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and mitigating the impacts of climate change, underscoring their dedication to green businesses and green jobs. He emphasised that these not only benefit the environment, but also offer enhanced financial and social returns compared to traditional ‘business-as-usual’ investments.