Switzerland and Ghana sign historic agreement for Climate Action

The Ghana Government and Switzerland signed a bilateral agreement on November 23, 2020 which brings the cooperative approaches of the Paris Agreement to life.

The bilateral agreement sets the framework conditions for the cooperation. The first project foreseen will enable clean cooking and solar lighting and benefit up to five million Ghanaian households.

The new partnership will enable the adoption of green and low carbon technology solutions across the country resulting in a plethora of social and environmental benefits.

The partnership will catalyse private sector investment into Ghana’s national energy access programme (NCEP), complementing the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) of Ghana to the Paris Agreement.

The NCEP will benefit up to five million households through technologies like improved cook stoves and solar PV installations. Ghana is also exploring further projects under the agreement.

UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner stated, “we are proud to have been able to facilitate the dialogue between Switzerland and Ghana, build trust in the process on both sides and offer our technical support in the implementation.”

“We hope this bilateral agreement will enable Ghana’s national clean energy access programme (NCEP) to fulfill its objectives by abating up to 2 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, providing energy access to millions and head towards a green recovery.”

The agreement is the first of its kind that involves an African nation, with Peru being the first country to sign a similar agreement in late October.

The statement from the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo called on the private sector of both countries “to see this bilateral cooperation as a step to further strengthen collaboration between Swiss and Ghanaian companies to identify commercially viable and sustainable development projects over the next decade”.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway delivered the President’s statement which congratulated and thanked Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, and UNDP for facilitating the agreement process.

The objective of Ghana’s NDC is to reduce emissions by 15 to 45 per cent below business-as-usual (BAU) and strengthen climate resilience in close alignment with its development priorities.

The NCEP is the core approach to achieving these targets but is conditional upon international support and requires blended financing for implementation.

“With this Agreement Switzerland takes concrete steps for the benefit of the environment and sustainable development”, stated Franz Perrez, Ambassador and Head of International Affairs Division of the Federal Office for the Environment.

“Jointly, Switzerland and Ghana set a robust framework for additional investments in climate action and for the adherence to human rights. With the Agreement we signed today, we are not only combating climate change, but also strengthening social aspects in the international carbon market,” he further stated.

This agreement will open the doors to commercial projects, empowering national businesses to drive climate action.

This cooperative approach that Ghana and Switzerland are undertaking is already paving the way for other countries to explore innovative climate financing solutions, also in line with Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

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