Ghana is focusing on tapping into the fortunes of the carbon market by creating demand for 24 million tonnes of carbon as part of its measures.
The move, which is under Ghana’s updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), will help the country to mobilize sustainable finance to implement the NDC programmes, including its adaptation initiatives.
It will also create green jobs, facilitate green technologies transfer among local businesses, and achieve its global targets.
Dr Daniel Tutu Benefoh, Ghana’s Focal Person to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency, said the recent conclusion of work on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement established a new international mechanism to oversee the international carbon market activity.
He explained that to tap into the fortunes of the carbon market, Ghana had completed negotiations, signed a bilateral agreement with Switzerland, and rectified by parliament.
The agreement will among other things implement emission reduction projects to generate the Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs).
ITMOs are units from the new mechanism for the international emissions trading between Parties to the Paris Agreement.
The bilateral agreement sets out the rules governing how the ITMOs ideas are generated, implemented, monitored, verified, quantified, priced and transferred for payment.
He hinted that there were four projects in the offing including, the Ghana Sustainable Rice Production, where some 12,000 rice farmers would be engaged to improve water management practices to reduce methane production.
“One condition that fuels the production of methane in irrigated rice farming is keeping water in the farm even when it is not needed. This method will only maintain water in the farm when it is needed,” he explained.
“This will require a drainage system and an instrument for measuring the moisture content that triggers the withdrawal of the water. By this farmers will be avoiding decomposition of organic matter that produces methane,” he said.
Dr Benefoh said the alternate wetting and drying would result in additional revenue, increase yield and ensure better use of water.
He noted that the project, which was at an advanced stage would see farmers getting some form of money for adopting the improved method.
Working with institutions, including UNDP, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the project was aiming at cultivating 20,000 hectares of rice by 2030.
Other projects under the Switzerland partnership would include, the provision of a financial guarantee scheme to commercial banks to invest in green renewable energy, the construction of compost plants to reduce methane and the promotion of efficiency through clean cookstoves.
On the Sweden partnership, he said a memorandum of understanding had been signed between the two countries, a letter of intent exchange and was due to begin four months of negotiations of the agreement.
Dr Benefoh said the Governments of Ghana and Singapore had exchanged letters of intent exchange, discussed the elements of the partnership and would be followed by some visits by the Singaporean delegation in April.
Other private organisations have expressed interest in partnering with the country on carbon market projects.