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Current situation

What is Ghanaʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

Emissions profile

Ghana’s total GHG emissions (including the LULUCF sector) have increased by 2.1% per annum between 1990 and 2016.5 Over the same period, however, the national population and economy have expanded at a faster rate than GHG emissions. Therefore, emissions per capita have decreased by 13.7%, while emissions per unit of GDP output have decreased by 59.3%.5

The energy sector is the largest sector of emissions accounting for 36% of total GHG in 2016.5 The LULUCF sector is following accounting for 33% of Ghana’s total GHGs, with deforestation and the associated expansion of croplands and grasslands being the primary drivers.5 The agriculture sector contributes to 22% of emissions in 2016. Transport and power, mostly dominated by oil and natural gas, respectively, are the main drivers of energy emissions. Livestock and land conversion to cropland are key drivers of agriculture emissions.5 While the waste sector contributed only 9% of emissions between 2012 and 2016, it was the fastest-growing emissions source, followed by the energy, agriculture and LULUCF sectors.5

Under a BAU scenario, a 201% increase in emissions compared to 1990 levels is anticipated by 2030 (a 73% increase since 2016).5

1 Republic of Ghana. Ghana’s intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) and accompanying explanatory note. (2015).

2 Ministry of Energy, Government of Ghana. Ghana Renewable Energy Master Plan. (2019).

3 Ministry of Petroleum, Government of Ghana. Gas Master Plan Developed By Ministry of Petroleum. (2016).

4 Government of Ghana. Ghana’s Second Biennial Update Report. (2018).

5 Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana. Ghana’s Fourth National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. (2019).

6 Environmental Protection Agency. Ghana’s Fourth National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. (2020).

7 African Development Bank. Climate Change Profile – Ghana. (2018).

8 IAEA. IAEA Reviews Progress of Ghana’s Nuclear Infrastructure Development | IAEA. (2019).

9 Values expressed in Global Warming Potentials from the Second Assessment Report (SAR).

10 While AFOLU as a sector is explicitly included in Ghana’s NDC, it is unclear if Agriculture is explicitly considered. As per a UNDP report, “A review of the NDCs to include the agriculture and industrial sectors will be necessary in increasing Ghana’s climate ambition under the Paris Agreement”. We assume here that Agriculture is already considered.

11 Ghana conditional NDC is 45% below BAU by 2030 which translates in 108% emissions reduction above 2010, base year provided in the NDC as reference for the BAU scenario. Ghana’s NDC covers all sectors of the economy including LULUCF. For the purpose of comparability, we assessed the NDC target excluding LULUCF emissions. Two methods are employed providing the range of the assessed NDC. The higher bound is based on the BAU projected by 2030 excluding LULUCF from the 4th National Communication converted to Global Warming Potentials AR4 using the ratio SAR/AR4 from the PRIMAP-Hist dataset and applying the conditional emissions reduction target of -45% below BAU by 2030.
The lower bound of the NDC is based on an estimated BAU excluding LULUCF scaled to 2012 historical year excluding LULUCF used in the analysis: PRIMAP-Hist 2019 dataset and in Global Warming Potentials AR4. We apply then the conditional NDC emissions reduction target of -45%.

Ghanaʼs current GHG emissions

MtCO₂e/yr

Displayed values

By sector

  • Transport
  • Power
  • Buildings
  • Industry (energy use)
  • Other
  • Fugitive emissions
  • LULUCF
  • Agriculture
  • Waste
  • Industry (processes)
Energy (36%)0

By gas

  • CO₂
  • CH₄
  • N₂O
  • Other
064%0

Sectors by gas

Energy
092%0
Agriculture
064%0
Industry (processes)
0100%0

Energy system

The transportation and residential sectors each account for 36% of Ghana’s energy consumption. The industrial sector—including mining and mineral resource processing—accounts for 20% of consumption.7

Ghana’s energy fuel mix is dominated by fossil fuels, in part due to national oil reserves developed since 2007.7 In 2018, 44% of the total national energy production was sourced from oil, 37% from traditional biomass, 14% from natural gas, and only 5% and 0.03% from hydropower and other renewables respectively.6

Electricity contributed roughly 13% to national energy consumption in 2016.7 More recent estimates indicate that 51% of Ghanaian electricity is powered from thermal fossil fuels (oil and natural gas), while hydropower and other renewables contribute 49.8% and 0.1% of the mix respectively.6

While Ghana intends to develop its renewable energy capacities up to 1364 MW by 2030, the country is also considering introducing coal plants and increasing electricity generation from natural gas.3 While coal technologies are not yet available in the country, these actions would lock in carbon intensive technologies that would prevent Ghana from aligning with a 1.5oC compatible pathway.

Targets and commitments

Economy-wide targets

Target type

Baseline scenario target

NDC target

Unconditional target:

Conditional target:

  • 45% below BAU emissions by 2030 (incl. LULUCF). BAU to reach 73.59 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030.1,9
  • Estimated 2030 conditional target to reach 29-47% above 2010 levels (or 30-35 MtCO₂e/yr) by 2030 (exl. LULUCF).11

Market mechanism

  • Expressed intention to develop compliance grade emission reduction units in the waste and energy sectors, as well as REDD+.

Long-term target

  • To date, Ghana has not articulated a long-term or net zero target/strategy.

Sector coverage

EnergyIndustryWasteAgricultureLULUCF

Greenhouse gas coverage

CO₂CH₄NF₃HFCsN₂OSF₆

Sectoral targets

Energy

  • Scale up share of renewable energy in total energy mix to 10% by 2030.2
  • Double energy efficiency improvement to 20% in industrial facilities (by scaling up installation of power factor correction devices in 1000 commercial and industrial facilities).
  • Scale up adoption of LPG use to 50% of peri-urban and rural households by 2030.
  • Scale up access and adoption of 2 million efficient cook stoves by 2030.
  • Increase LPG penetration to 50% of households by 2030.6

Transport

  • Expansion of inter and intra city mass transportation modes (Rail and bus transit system) in four cities.

Power

  • Double energy efficiency improvement to 20% in power plants (by scaling up of 120 MSCF natural gas replacement of light crude oil for electricity generation in thermal plants).
  • Increase solar lantern replacement in rural non-electrified households to 2 million.
  • Universal access to grid electricity by 2025.6
  • Increase renewable energy capacity from 42.5 MW in 2015 to 1363.63 MW in 2030.2
  • Planned addition of 72 MW solar and 150 MW wind in the next decade.4

Buildings

  • No quantified sectoral target available.

Waste

  • Improve urban solid waste collection effectiveness to 90% by 2030.

Footnotes