350.org reacts to statement by Ghana’s environment minister on the proposed coal power plant
ACCRA, GHANA — Following statements by Ghana’s Minister of Environment, Mahama Ayariga, where he rejected the proposed $1.5 billion coal project in the Ekumfi Aboano District in Central Ghana, 350.org issued the following statement:
“Coal has severe health and environmental consequences so much so that developed nations are shying away from it. Our message is clear: the government should refrain from the coal fallacy once and for all and instead redirect its focus on renewable energy sources” said Chibeze Ezekiel, 350.org Ghana anti-coal campaigner.
This bold statement complements Ghana’s parliament, which joined countries in ratifying the Paris Agreement last August in the pursuit of sustainable development and attaining clean energy goals in line with Ghana’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (GH-INDC). The Paris agreement comes into effect on the 4th of November, just before the Conference of Parties (COP22) takes place in Marrakesh, Morocco.
A complete moratorium on the project requires a Presidential decree formally and publicly canceling the ambitious coal project and any future fossil fuel plans. These are the demands of the anti coal campaign.
The proposed coal plant came about in 2013, during the country’s worst energy crises. Since then, high-level officials have struggled to justify the need for the project, which will cost Ghana $1.5billion with coal to be imported from South Africa and Colombia.
70% of the country is said to have access to electricity while the remaining 30%, located in rural areas, lacks access. With construction due to commence in April 2017, civil society, supported by influential local chiefs have been taking decisive steps to halt the project.
“This is exactly the kind of leadership Africa and global south countries need. There is no future in fossil fuel investments. The world urgently needs a just transition to 100% renewable energy with universal access across the globe. The African continent is well positioned to take the lead, refuse energy models that aggravate climate chaos and compromises it renewable development path” added Landry Nintereste, 350Africa Regional Team Leader.