About

Ghana is a founding partner of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and the first country in the world to include short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) and other air pollutants into their fourth official National Greenhouse Gas Inventory submitted to the UNFCCC.  

Since joining in 2012, the country has been committed to aggressive action on SLCPs, particularly through a series of ambitious national action plans. Ghana committed to unconditionally lower greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2030 and voluntarily pledged an additional 30 percent reduction if the country receives external funding to cover the full cost of implementing mitigation action. 

Ghana’s national plans show their recognition of the strategic power of acting on pollution and climate together by focusing not just on carbon reductions but also on SLCPs. In 2018, Ghana launched its National Action Plan to Mitigate SLCPs which identifies 16 mitigation measures across seven sectors. In 2013, Ghana launched the “Climate Ambitious report Programme” to monitor and report on greenhouse gases. This program resulted in the Ministry of Finance starting to track climate support, develop a climate finance tracking tool, and establish an online climate data hub for reporting. The 2013 National Climate Change Policy included methane reduction strategies including landfill diversion and recycling to reduce the amount of solid and liquid waste in urban areas and to generate energy. In 2016, the country also announced its Low Carbon Development Strategy to generate investment for mitigation opportunities.  

Ghana is an enthusiastic leader across a variety of the Coalition’s initiatives, including the Global Methane Initiative (GMI) of which Ghana is a steering committee member. The country has representatives on the biogas, agriculture, and waste technical groups under the biogas sector as well as the committee on oil and gas systems.  

In 2018, Ghana’s capital city of Accra became the first African city to join CCAC’s Breathelife campaign. "Cities are becoming more important in the geopolitical space. Someone has to provide leadership. I am willing to do so,” said Mayor Mohammed Adjei Sowah of the decision. “In our part of the world air pollution is not prioritized as a health concern, even in the way we cook. But the statistics are so staggering that we have to wake people up to take action. We have to talk about it loudly so that it becomes part of our discourse in the urban political space.”  

Read below for more highlights of Ghana’s work.

CCAC activities

Activity | Health
Ghana | Ongoing
The Urban Health and Short-lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Project promotes air pollution reduction strategies by mobilizing and empowering the health sector, and by demonstrating the full range of...
Urban Health Initiative stakeholder meeting in Accra, Ghana
Activity | Waste
Ghana | Ongoing
As a member of the Coalition's Municipal Solid Waste Initiative city network, the city of Accra, Ghana has undertaken multiple initiatives to improve waste collection and separation practices,...

Other activities

International Activity 

  • Ghana is a member of the Global Methane Initiative (GMI) steering committee and has representatives on the biogas, agriculture and waste technical groups under the biogas sector as well as the committee on oil and gas systems.
  • Under the G-20 compact with Africa for Sustainable Economic Development, the Government of Germany has agreed to promote private investments in renewable energy and vocational training in Ghana.  
  • Ghana was the first developing country to engage with Sustainable Energy for All, through which it is working to provide universal access to electricity for its island and riverside communities, increase use of electricity in both on- and off-grid electrified communities through targeted interventions, and provide universal access to clean cooking solutions. 
  • Ghana is mobilizing funds from the Green Climate Fund to support the implementation of two mitigation projects in renewable energy and forestry.

National Climate Plans 

  • In 2013, Ghana launched the "Climate Ambitious Report Programme (GCARP)", an integrated system for continuous data generation on greenhouse gas inventories, mitigation actions and support, as its domestic Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) system. This resulted in the Ministry of Finance taking responsibility of tracking climate support and developing a climate finance tracking tool and the Environmental Protection Agency establishing an online climate data-hub for climate reporting.
  • In 2015, Ghana committed to unconditionally lower greenhouse gas emissions by 15% relative to business as usual scenario emissions of 73.95 MtCO2e by 2030 and voluntarily pledged an additional 30% emission reduction on the condition that external support is made available to cover full cost of implementing mitigation action.
  • In 2016, Ghana adopted the national REDD+ strategy and the Ghana forest plantation strategy to tackle the drivers of deforestation and restoration of degraded lands. As of 2016, 192,253.19ha of tree plantation had been established. 
  • The 2013 National Climate Change Policy seeks to reduce methane from landfills through waste reduction and recycling, and establish sustainable recycling and waste management technologies that generate energy, reduce emissions from solid and liquid wastes especially in urban areas.
  • The 2016 Low Carbon Development Strategy outlines ways to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions while fostering sustainable development benefits.

Transport 

  • In 2020, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Ministers adopted a regional standard on imported gasoline and diesel fuels (50ppm). Starting in 2025, the standard mandates that domestically produced fuels must have an emission standard of Euro 4/IV, an age limit of 5-10 years, and that countries must transition to align with specified age limits on imported vehicles over a 10-year period. 
  • In 2019, Ghana published Motor Vehicle Emissions Standards (MVES) and the accompanying regulations are being developed. 
  • In 2020, the restrictions on used car importation were put in place mandating that while cars over 10 years old can still be imported they will incur additional charges.   
  • In 2019, the Compulsory Specification for motor vehicles of category m2 must comply with gaseous and particulate emissions requirements by 2020, with minimum vehicle emission requirements at the Euro I level.  
  • In 2015, Impact Global Emissions Solutions (IGES)’s Ghana Eco-Transport Program carried out the first vehicle emissions monitoring project in Africa by recording individual vehicle emissions, tracking how those emissions are distributed across Accra, and how those measurements compare to European cities.  
  • In 2017, the government signed an agreement with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs to launch an Urban Mobility and Accessibility Project as part of ongoing work to ease congestion and reduce commuting time in Accra. 
  • In 2016, UN Environment signed an agreement with the Abidjan Lagos Corridor Organization to quantify the Port of Tema’s emissions levels to inform strategies for reducing particulate matter and black carbon emissions from port operations. 
  • In 2013, Ghana adopted the National Railway Master Plan with the goal of modernizing the country's railway network by pumping $7.8 billion of investments into 1,394 kilometres of tracks. 
  • In 2019, a study was conducted on the infrastructural needs and market perception of consumers towards implementation of electric mobility in Ghana. 

  • In 2020, the Ministry of Transport is developing the Accra city electric bus project, which is seeking funding from the Green Climate Fund.  

Air Quality 

  • The 2019 Health and Pollution Action Plan outlines the health impacts of five classes of pollution and then prioritizes them based on the severity of those impacts. The plan also identifies and implements concrete interventions to reduce exposure to these pollution sources. 
  • The 2018 Air Quality Management Plan for greater Accra measures the current air quality and projected emissions trends for indoor and outdoor air pollution and estimates the resulting health burden. It also estimates the health burden of these trends, sets air quality standards, and establishes a framework to monitor air quality. The goal of the plan is to fully comply with national ambient air quality standards by 2022. 
  • In 2016, the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) selected Accra to be the location for the first-ever Megacity Partnership. Through this, Ghana EPA staff were trained on things like analysing the benefits of air pollution control in addition to receiving support from EPA on bettering managing air quality monitoring data. 
  • The U.S. Embassy in Accra installed an air quality monitor on Embassy grounds. The monitor measures Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 particulates in the air on and near the Embassy compound.
  • The World Bank Pollution Management and Environmental Health Program selected Accra as one of seven cities to direct technical and program development around air quality management. 
  • During the 2019 Africa Climate Week, Ghana led the high-level roundtable on climate and clean air actions.
  • In 2019, the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency collaborated with Environment 360, to implement open burning programme at James Town catchment Area Using Low Cost Sensors.   

Household energy 

  • In 2013, Ghana kicked off its work promoting clean cooking solutions by improving access to energy efficient and improved cookstoves as well as liquid petroleum gas.  
  • Between 2015 and 2018, Ghana committed to getting 1,000 institutional cookstoves (larger models that could be used for schools or offices) and 2 million households improved cookstoves into the hands of people who need them. 
  • Between 2015 and 2018, some 1,000 improved cookstoves were distributed in over 100 communities which impacted over 100,000 people. 
  • Between 2015 and 2018, Ghana published national standards for biomass cookstoves  
  • Between 2015 and 2018, the Energising Development Programme used a 40 percent subsidy scheme to get 155 improved institutional biomass stoves to women working in agro-processing activities. 
  • In recent years, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves partnered with Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to improve locally produced cookstoves 
  • In 2013, the Rural LPG Programme was launched which is working to distribute 50,000 free cylinders, cook stoves, and related accessories to remote and poor areas. A Memorandum of Agreement with Indian Oil Corp was signed to carry out the project.  

Energy efficiency and cooling

  • In 2016, Ghana embarked on nationwide efforts to improve energy efficiency in households, services, and industry. This work has since resulted in an energy efficient database for refrigerators, air conditioners, and light bulbs and an app that helps consumers locate and identify energy efficient appliances that has down downloaded over 4,000 times. 
  • Between 2016 and 2018, these nationwide energy efficiency efforts also distributed 32,893 automatic timer switches to consumers which can save households 30 percent on their energy expenditures. Furthermore, over 120,000 leaflets, flyers, and brochures about energy efficiency were distributed nationwide. 
  • In 2018, two television discussions and over 12 radio discussions were held on energy efficiency nationwide. 
  • In 2017, the government trained 60 Energy Efficiency Advisors who then went into communities to educate 2,880 people about energy efficiency.  
  • In 2015, Ghana published its National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) which outlined the targets, standards, and incentives for energy efficiency to be implemented by 2020.  
  • In 2017, the “Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings Project” retrofitting buildings with energy efficient equipment and electrical devices, including ministries and universities.
  • In 2019, Ghana became the 79th country to ratify the Kigali Amendment to pave the way for the implementation of a national programme to gradually phase out HFCs by introducing an alternative technology to HFCs with the support of the private sector.  

Energy 

  • In 2014, Ghana National Gas Company began working to better recover and utilize gas by expanding the domestic gas market through investment in national gas infrastructure and stopping gas flaring. This has resulted in a $1 billion investment in a Gas Processing Plant managed by the National Gas Company and a total production of 170,030 Mt of liquid petroleum gas for domestic cooking. 
  • Since 2014, the national company has processed and supplied an average of 477,416.71 cubic meter of lean gas for electricity to the Volta River Authority's power plants and other clients every year. 
  • In 2012, Ghana ramped up its work switching from heavy fuel oil to natural gas in existing power plants to both reduce the cost of electricity generation and the emissions it causes by commissioning a natural gas processing facility. As part of Ghana’s Nationally Determined Contributions, the country is developing natural gas infrastructure to facilitate production, transportation, and processing.  
  • In 2016, the country adopted the National Gas Master Plan which helped mobilize $13.2 billion in investments into the development of the national infrastructure to contribute to natural gas resources and energy security. 
  • Between 2015 and 2018, Ghana increased utility-scale solar installed capacity ninefold, from 2.5 MW to 22.5 MW. The country is also planning an additional 72MW of solar and 150MW of wind. 
  • In 2012, the Natural Gas Pricing Policy discouraged flaring for environmental reasons, building off of the 2010 Energy Sector Strategy and Development Plan to prohibit the flaring or venting of natural gas in Ghana. 
  • In 2015, the government adopted the Scale-up Renewable Energy Penetration Programme (SREP-P) to increase renewable energy. The programme has already rolled out a metering scheme, implemented a renewable energy licensing framework, conducted renewable energy resource mapping, and installed solar energy systems across the country. 

Waste 
   

  • In 2013, the solid waste to compost programme started as a joint effort between local government and two private businesses. The businesses established compost facilities which receive Municipal Solid Waste and the compost produced is sold as fertilizer in the agricultural business. Since 2013, the program has produced on average over 8,545 tonnes of compost annually and created more than 2,000 direct and indirect jobs. 
  • In 2016, the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Act required anyone who manages wastes to take pollution prevention steps including banning e-waste burning. 
  • In 2016, the Local Governance Act was passed to strengthen local government’s ability to stop practices such as open burning 
  • In 2017, the government established the Sanitation Ministry to better support both sanitation and water sectors. 
  • In 2016, Germany commissioned the Environmentally Sound Disposal and Recycling of E-Waste in Ghana to reduce pollution and dangerous toxic gases causing health problems 
  • In 2017, the JVL Fortifer Compost Plant was established to improve urban sanitation and increase farm productivity. 
  • In 2019, the Accra Compost and Recycling Plant was established to recycle solid and liquid waste to produce organic compost.  

Related resources

2018 | Official Statements

Ghana submitted its second Biennial Update Report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in October 2018. Following the national planning support of the CCAC and for the...

Ghana BUR
2018 | Policies, Plans & Regulations
, Environmental Protection Agency Ghana

EPA Ghana developed this comprehensive Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) for the GAMA and Greater Accra Region as the next step in addressing these problems. This plan complements the National...

AQM_Accra-Ghana

Address

Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, Post Office Box M326
Accra
Ghana
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