A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Government of Ghana and the Swiss Federal Council in Bern Friday to strengthen the mode of cooperation between the two countries under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement on climate actions.
The bilateral agreement will facilitate Ghana’s National Clean Energy Access Programme (NCEP), which will enable the country to receive international financial support to implement projects to fulfill its climate commitments.
Although discussions around Article 6 was stalled at COP25 in Madrid, Switzerland and Ghana are responding to the need to implement enhanced climate actions, by moving ahead with an agenda to engage in ‘cooperative approaches’, to compliment Ghana’s Nationally Determined Contributions to address climate change.
The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) of Ghana, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, noted “this is an important moment for the Government of Ghana. This cooperation with Switzerland could open the door to a number of projects that will receive financial support from Switzerland and catalyze private investment into emission reduction activities. Whether these projects are keeping the lights on in schools through new distributed solar systems or reducing demand for fuel-wood for cooking systems, the investments and development impacts they will bring are needed, and will allow Ghana to achieve its national development plans”.
The MoU between Switzerland and Ghana is incredibly unique, and in fact only the second of such dialogues taking place globally, with Peru being the first country to have one.
Through a close partnership with the Government of Ghana and institutional expertise on carbon market mechanisms, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was able to support and facilitate the dialogue between Switzerland and Ghana and will continue offering this support as the cooperation progresses.
Acting Resident Representative of UNDP in Ghana Ms. Gita Welch stated: “UNDP has worked hard over the last year with our government partners in Ghana, particularly at the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and the Environmental Protection Agency, to set the parameters of what this cooperation under Article 6 will look like. It is pleasing to see this work crystalised through the signing of this MoU, and we look forward to the months ahead and the eventual signing of a bilateral agreement. We will also work around the possibilities of supporting quick implementation.”
NCEP’s overall goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by expanding energy access through distributed energy systems to residential houses and small and medium sized businesses.
The actions being discussed under the agreement could see the installation of solar PV systems for commercial consumers, solar lanterns, solar home systems and provision of improved cooking systems nation-wide.