The Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC) with support from Ernst and Young (EY), organized two Policy Alternative for Green Economy round table sessions on Supporting the Green Economy of Ghana.
The first dialogue focused on Benefiting from the Global Carbon Trade Market: The Case of Green Businesses in Ghana, whilst the second touched on Assessing the Adequacy of Incentives for Green Businesses in Ghana.
Key stakeholders who contributed significantly to the discussions at the two events were the Ministry of Finance – Revenue Policy Division, Tax Policy Unit, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Ministry for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), A Rocha International, the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies – UG, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
In his opening remarks, Dramani Bukari, Director of Partnerships, Entrepreneurship and Investment at the GCIC, explained the three key pillars of the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre, specifically, the School of Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Storytelling and Policy Alternatives for a Green Economy (PAGE) and explained that the two-day policy round table sessions were part of the PAGE initiatives of the GCIC that contribute to building an enabling environment for Small and Medium sized enterprises in Ghana.
Through PAGE-Ghana, the GCIC’s policy advocacy work unit, the organization works to impact government decision making for policies to encourage climate resilience that meet carbon budgets through Green Policy Research, Government Advocacy Policy Dialogues, and International Exchange & Knowledge Brokerage.
The first day of the policy round table discussion focused on the topic “Benefiting from the Global Carbon Trade Market: The Case of Green Businesses in Ghana” and was facilitated by Dr. Daniel Nukpezah, of the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon.
In his overview of the Green Policy landscape and emission trading, Dr. Daniel Nukpezah laid down the context for the roundtable discussion, focusing on the 1994 Convention on Climate Change whose objective was to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human induced) interference with the climate system. The convention states that “such a level should be achieved within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened, and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner”. Dr. Nukpezah used the session to express a need for policy changes and solutions necessary to strengthen an enabling environment for a green economy.
He explained that the green economy facilitates sustainable economic growth with a key focus on investments, employment, and skills. This led to a discussion of the sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 13 which calls on countries to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact.
In the dialogue session that followed, participants advocated for a green economy which would bring about a reduction in pollution, more job opportunities and a better environment.
Dr. Daniel Tutu Benefoh, the Deputy Director at the Climate Change unit of Ghana’s Environmental, (EPA) contributed to the session by stating that the EPA had developed a carbon framework to regulate the carbon market in Ghana. He advised SMEs to visit the carbon market office website of the EPA to learn more about the policies and rules established by their office to support climate change mitigation and adaptation in Ghana.
The roundtable discussion concluded with a call for policy measures to drive green business growth in Ghana such as enhancement of the regulatory and policy framework, coordination and promotion of incentive packages for green business and strengthen women led businesses in the Country.
The second day of the policy round table sessions focused on the topic, Assessing the Adequacy of Incentives for Green Businesses in Ghana. In attendance were representatives of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Employment and Labour relations, Ghana Enterprise Agency, the Ghana Revenue Authority and GIZ amongst others.
In his opening statement, Michael Sackey, a Partner at EY asked the representatives of the various state agencies about the existence of available Incentives for green business in Ghana to which Mr. Dominic Naab, representing the Ghana Revenue Authority, acknowledged the importance of SME’s and their contribution of 80% of GDP and job creation but stated the GRA only collected taxes under existing legislation and therefore could not contribute to policies for green incentives. It was suggested by other participants in the discussion that stakeholders therefore needed to push their various legislators to create new laws to incentivize green businesses specifically.
The roundtable discussion concluded with a discussion of policy measures to drive green business growth in Ghana such as enhancement of the regulatory and policy framework, coordination and promotion of incentive packages for green business and strengthen women led businesses in the Country.