Govt to fund ‘carbon economy’

The government has reaffirmed its readiness to leverage its natural resources to fund a sustainable transition to a low ‘carbon economy.’

This would be done by facilitating private sector participation in low carbon activities and industries in a manner that would generate more jobs and improve the general wellbeing of Ghanaians.

The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, announced these during the presentation of 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament, on Wednesday.

He said government in the course of the last two decades, had adopted several policies and programmes aimed at restoring the lost forest.

According to MrOfori-Atta, between 2002 and 2020, under the National Forest Plantation Development Programme and the Ghana Forest Plantation Strategy, some 588,000 hectares of plantations had been established.

He indicated that through the Youth in Afforestation Programme, government was committed to reclaiming some 7.6 million hectares of degraded forest and farms lands.

“Government is committed to promoting climate adaptation activities. We will be collaborating with the Global Centre on Adaptation and the African Development Bank, in pioneering solutions on how to build durable infrastructure, and supporting African cities to guard against the impacts of climate change,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.

Mr Ofori-Atta said government was also working with the private sector, and with the assistance of the Green Climate Fund, to establish a multi-million-dollar Green Fund, to support climate adaptation interventions.

“We shall, in addition, work with our traditional authorities and districts to issue innovative ‘mini muni adaptation bonds’ to address the issues of reclamation and re-afforestation in their localities,” he stated.

MrOfori-Attanoted that, from 2024 and beyond, the government aimed to reduce emissions by some ten million tonnesof carbon dioxide equivalent in the cocoa-forest landscape, through the implementation of the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme, one of five ecological landscape-tailored programmes in Ghana’s REDD+ Strategy.

He said government, through her Nationally Determined Contributions in the forestry sector, was committed to supporting the global target of halving emissions by 2030, and attaining neutrality by 2050.

“Ghana is committed to the Forest Agriculture Commodity Trade (FACT) Dialogue process, and she affirms her resolve to support the development and implementation of the FACT Roadmap Actions, MrOfori-Atta said.

We are determined to operationalise the Timber Legality Assurance System, as part of the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade process, which will enable us track wood electronically to ensure that only legally compliant timber is allowed into any market,” he said.

BY VIVIAN ARTHUR

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