Ghana authorizes transfer of mitigation outcomes to Switzerland
Supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),Ghana is the first country globally to launch a project and issue an authorization statement for the transfer of mitigation as part of cooperative approaches under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
The Government of Ghana has officially authorized the transfer of mitigation outcomes under its new climate-smart rice project to Switzerland.
This was announced at a side event at the ongoing Climate Change Conference (COP 27) when the Government officially presented a formal authorization letter to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which has facilitated the bilateral agreement between Ghana and Switzerland.
The bilateral agreement falls under Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement, and this allows public and private institutions to collaborate to invest in climate change mitigation interventions in Ghana and exchange carbon credits with Switzerland for payment while maintaining the development benefits in the country.
“Ghana’s leadership in Africa on carbon finance with the landmark bilateral agreement with Switzerland is something we are proud of. We want to leverage this collaborative approach to crowd in more carbon revenue to accelerate the implementation of our national climate plan for the benefits of many communities”, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Dr. Kwaku Afriyie said.
The authorization was in line with the guidance of cooperative approaches referred to in Article 6 paragraph 2 of the Paris Agreement and Ghana’s Mitigation Framework for the Mitigating Activity titled “promotion of climate-smart agriculture practices for sustainable rice cultivation in Ghana”.
The letter confirms that the Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs) will represent mitigation from 2021 onward spanning through the implementation period of Ghana’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
“I congratulate Ghana for formalizing its bilateral agreement with Switzerland to transfer carbon credit resulting from our project to promote climate smart agriculture in rice cultivation”, the UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana, Dr Angela Lusigi noted.
During the side event at the COP27, Ghana showcased how pioneering voluntary cooperation approaches under Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement will enable the reduction of carbon emissions while advancing progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in developing countries.
Beyond emissions reductions, climate mitigation projects can indeed directly yield many development benefits–including job creation, support to livelihoods and food security.
Article 6 of the Paris Agreement acknowledges that countries can pursue voluntary cooperation in the implementation of their climate plans known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to allow for higher mitigation ambition and to promote sustainable development.
The Ghana climate-smart rice project will support the training of over thousands of rice farmers – covering nearly 80 percent of Ghana’s rice production – in sustainable agricultural practices, leading to significant methane emission reductions.
The intervention will also provide extra income through carbon revenue to farmers for increased resilience and improve efficiency of water use.