Stakeholders in the environmental sector including financial institutions have held a dialogue on green investment in Accra, on the theme “Connecting business to green investment opportunities”.

It was organized by UN Global Compact and Businesses in Environmental Stewardship Network (BESNet).

Ghana is expected to mobilise about $ 9 billion from both local and international sources to implement its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which are strategies earmarked by countries to help in adapting the impact of climate change.

In 2015, 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal and legally binding agreement, called Paris Agreement, to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change. The agreement requires all Parties to outline their commitments in the form of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and to accelerate these efforts in the years ahead.

Ghana has committed to pursue coordinated actions to reduce the negative impacts of climate change on its citizenry and to create a low carbon emission development pathway.

In his presentation via zoom, Mr Foster Gyamfi of the Ministry of Finance revealed that, Ghana has reviewed its projection downwards and it is now expected to mobilise $9 billion instead of the earlier $22 billion projection to implement the NDC’s.

Consistent with Article 4.9 of the Paris Agreement on successive updates every five years, Mr Gyamfi said, the revised projected amount of $9 billion was necessary as the country is being realistic, having implemented the Paris agreement for five years.

He disclosed that, the total expenditure from 2015-2020 on climate change budgeted expenditure was GHC 14.5 billion ($3.15 billion).

“Over the last five years, Ghana has committed an average of 3.94% of its total expenditure to climate change, with GOG climate change relevant budget”, he added.

He said, apart from national budget, Ghana has also been able to receive support from the Green Climate Fund.

GCF is a unique global platform to respond to climate change by investing in low-emission and climate-resilient development. GCF was established by 194 governments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in developing countries, and to help vulnerable societies adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.

According to him, Ghana has so far submitted 19 proposals to seek funding from GCF and has since received $106.9 million.

Ecobank Ghana gets GCF accreditation

Ecobank Ghana has been accredited by the Green Climate Fund (GCF). This prestigious accreditation was given, following a unanimous board approval of the recommendations of the fund’s Panel of Experts on Accreditation. Ecobank, therefore becomes the first entity in Ghana and the first Commercial bank in Sub-Saharan Africa to be accredited to the fund.

This accreditation, which followed the GCF Panel’s review of Ecobank’s processes, procedures and compliance with the fiduciary standards of the GCF, positions Ecobank Ghana as a thought leader in the wider climate action community and at the forefront of environmental initiatives and solutions. By this, accreditation the bank attains direct access to funding for the financing of climate change mitigation and adaptation projects, as well as grants for capacity building.

With this accreditation, Ecobank will receive funds from the GCF for on-lending to beneficiary institutions involved in climate change projects in Ghana. The bank, in consultation with the Ministry of Finance, has so far developed the Accelerating Solar Action Programme (ASAP), as the first project to be submitted to the GCF for funding. The ASAP aims at mobilizing concessionary finance to promote the use of solar PV systems in Ghana, with a clear focus on SMEs and households.

This accreditation also confirms that Ecobank Ghana duly met the fiduciary principles and standards, environmental and social safeguards, and gender procedure, as provided in the operational policies and guidelines of the GCF Board for accessing resources from the Fund. The financial capacity of the accreditation enables the bank to finance projects up to US¢250million. Entities that are interested in submitting funding proposals to the GCF may initiate discussions with Ecobank Ghana.

Partnership

According to Mr Gyamfi, the government of Ghana would continue to partner with financial institutions like Ecobank to invest in areas such as Accelerated Solar Action Programme among others. He said, government would also continue to invest in Agriculture, the Shea industry and Accra City Electronic Bus Project.

The Case for Green/Sustainable Financing

In his presentation dubbed “The Case for Green/Sustainable Financing, Mr Kwadwo Kwakye Gyan of the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) said, green investment/financing should be seen as a call to national duty to support Ghana’s National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) and sustainable development strategies.

“GIIF is a key member of the Ghana National Plastic Action Partnership (Ghana NPAP) launched in 2019 as an initiative of the World Economic Forum in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Science Technology and Innovation(MESTI) and under the mandate of His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo to serve as a locally led multistakeholder platform that brings together diverse and inclusive communities of changemakers – business leaders, policy-makers, academics, and international and grassroots organizations – to collectively tackle plastic pollution by supporting the development of a circular economy framework as the primary mechanism for reducing plastic waste and plastic pollution in the country”, he said.

He revealed that, GIIF is currently part of a 22-member financing taskforce comprising key government ministries, local and international financial institutions, development partners and various industry players across the plastics value chain which has been convened by the Ghana NPAP to develop a national financing roadmap on plastic waste pollution.

“The financing taskforce aims to develop actionable recommendations that organizations can take to increase investments in the plastics sector and to drive progress towards implementation of the Financing Roadmap recommendations”, he added.

Challenges of green investment

As part of the investment dialogue, panel discussion was held where representative of financial institutions and investment firms shared their opinion on green investment, products they have for business and opportunities that can be assessed.

Gifty Owusu Nhyira, Environmental and Social Risk Analyst and Staff of Ecobank highlighted some of the factors militating against green investment in the country. Some of the challenges she mentioned include poorly structured projects, lack of research from those seeking funding and overhyped projects.

The panelists advised those seeking green investment opportunities to talk about what the investment can bring and also consider adaptation, mitigation and biodiversity in their proposals.

Story by Suleiman Abubakar Sadique