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Ghana, Switzerland sign two climate agreements

Ghanaian and Swiss Officials

Ghana and Switzerland signed two landmark agreements to boost the bilateral and economic development cooperation between the two countries in the fight against climate change for the years 2021-2024.

The first agreement was the allocation of CHF65 million by the Swiss government to Ghana for economic development in Ghana, while the second was to pilot the operationalisation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and to mobilise funds internationally to implement the GH-NDCs.

The Paris Agreement set out a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C as it also aimed to strengthen countries ability to deal with the impact of climate change and support them in their efforts.

The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, signed the first agreement on behalf of the Ghana government, while the Councillor of Switzerland, the former President of the Swiss Confederation and current Swiss Minister for Environment, Traffic, Energy and Communications, Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga, signed on behalf of her country.

Ghana’s Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Kwaku Afriyie, signed the second on behalf of the Ghana of government, while Federal Councillor Sommaruga signed on behalf of the Switzerland government.

Ghana signs Climate Agreement with Switzerland
Ghana’s Minister for Environment (left)

Dr Kweku Afriyie, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, disclosed this at a press conference in Accra organised by the Embassy of Switzerland during the working visit of Madam Simonetta Sommaruga, Federal Councillor of Switzerland.

The Minister mentioned that under the agreement, a total emission reduction of 2.0 Metric tons of carbon dioxide would be sold to the government of Switzerland.

He also noted that an estimated amount of US$20million was expected to be paid by Switzerland in return for the emission reductions that would serve as carbon offsets.

“This bilateral agreement will be implemented through the private sector, with the government playing a facilitative and coordination role. An estimated amount of $20 million is expected to be paid by Switzerland in return for the emission reductions that will serve as carbon offsets,” he said.

Federal Councillor Sommaruga said Switzerland was a global pioneer of climate protection, having set a standard for international climate projects that respected both human rights and nature.

The Councillor hinted that the agreement would allow Switzerland to make a greater contribution towards climate protection beyond national measures and that, working side-by-side with Ghana and in cooperation with the private sector would help create jobs and protect the climate.

She also noted that the new partnership would enable the adoption of green and low carbon technology solutions across the country resulting in a plethora of social and environmental benefits.

E-waste scrap dealers

For his part, Dr Kwaku Afriyie said the historic visit of the Switzerland Councillor to Ghana would further strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

He said in the area of environment, the Swiss had supported Ghana to reorganise e-waste scrap dealers in their operations at Agbogloshie in Accra.

“As a country, we are committed to fulfilling our climate commitments and the implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. We are fully committed to this process,” he said.

He said the bilateral cooperation agreement was envisaged to be implemented over a period of 10 years, starting with the implementation of a National Clean Energy Access Programme in solar and improved cookstoves, with the possibility of extension for which a total emission reduction of 2.0 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent would be sold to Switzerland.

Dr Afriyie said Ghana was proud to have signed and ratified the Paris Agreement, which was the first-ever universal and legally binding global climate change agreement adopted in December 2015.

Ghana is the first African country and second in the world to have signed a deal in line with Article six of the Paris Agreement, which allows two countries to collaborate to meet their emissions-reduction targets under their national climate plans.

SOURCE: Daily Graphic GH

Emmanuel Ameyaw

Emmanuel Ameyaw is the founder and Editor of Ghana's foremost Climate-focused news website-The Climate Insight. He is a 2021 Innovate4Climate Media fellow. He worked as a News Anchor/Producer at MX24 TV and TV Africa. He also worked as a Senior Correspondent for Zambian based – MOZO TV. His long-standing passion for journalism has seen him work in different capacities across TV, online and print media.

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