Ghana signs $50m emission reduction payment agreement with LEAF coalition

By Irene Wirekoaa Osei, ISD || Contributor
Climate Ghana signs 50m emission reduction payment agreement with LEAF coalition
DEC 6, 2023 LISTEN

Under the auspices of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Forestry Commission has signed an Emission Reductions Payment Agreement (ERPA) with Emergent Forest Finance Accelerator Incorporated (Emergent).

This makes Ghana the first country in the world to sign ERPA under the LEAF Coalition for the supply of high-integrity jurisdictional REDD+ emission reductions.

The Agreement requires Ghana to receive up to US$50 million in exchange for reducing emissions by up to five million tonnes of carbon dioxide at an equivalent unit price of US$10.00 per tonne of carbon dioxide.

Costa Rica also signed an agreement with Emergent worth $14 Million, making the two countries the only forest countries to achieve this feat.

The LEAF Coalition was launched in April 2021 by the Governments of the United Kingdom, the United States and Norway, together with some leading global companies, as a voluntary global coalition to bring together companies and governments to provide funds (finance) for tropical and subtropical forest conservation.

The Coalition aims to raise global climate ambition and contribute to halting tropical and subtropical deforestation and forest degradation by 2030, ensuring that tropical and subtropical forest jurisdictions have access to large-scale predictable performance-based finance to enable them to invest in reduced deforestation and sustainable rural development.

Following a call for proposals, in which thirty countries participated, and subsequent initial technical screening by a panel of experts, Ghana, Nepal and Ecuador were chosen as the first countries to sign a Letter of Intent with the Coalition as the first step toward signing a binding ERPA to access funds from the Coalition.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the signing of the Agreement, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel A. Jinapor, said the signing of the Agreement is a further testament to Ghana’s efforts at restoring its forest with the right sustainability protocols.

He said the importance of forest and nature-based solutions to climate change is critical at this crisis moment and called on countries to scale up efforts to deliver on these solutions.

He stated that the new Agreement would complement other interventions being implemented to halt climate change, such as the flagship Green Ghana Project, the Ghana Forest Plantation Strategy and the Ghana REDD+ Strategy.

Ghana has already received result-based payments of more than US$4.8 million under the Ghana Cocoa REDD+ Programme and implementing the Ghana Shea Landscape Restoration Programme with support from the Green Climate Fund.

The Minister said the new ERPA would help Ghana extend climate action to areas beyond her Carbon Fund area.

He called on the global community to come together to support actions towards forest restoration and protection.

“The time to act with speed and effectiveness against climate change is now. The time for partnership and collaboration in ramping up forest and nature-based climate action is, indeed, now…. Let us, therefore, get on with this noble undertaking to save our planet,” he said.

The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Emergent, Mr Eron Bloomgarden, congratulated Ghana on the feat chalked.

He said the commitment and zeal of the team from Ghana ensured that an agreement was reached within a record time, making Ghana the first African country to sign such an agreement.

Forest and nature-based solutions to climate change have been at the centre of successive COPs since 2021, as it has the potential to deliver up to a third of global climate solutions.