Gov’t, Tullow Oil plc sign US$90 million Emissions Reduction Purchase Agreement

By Godwill Arthur-Mensah

Accra, May 23, GNA – Tullow Oil plc has announced a financial investment of approximately US$90 million over a period of 10 years in Emissions Reduction Purchase Agreement (ERPA) with Ghana’s Forestry Commission.

The Agreement is expected to impact about one million lives, and deliver up to a million tonnes of carbon offset credits per year.

Ms Julia Ross, the Director of People and Sustainability, Tullow Oil plc, announced this at a ceremony in Accra on Thursday.

The Agreement marks a significant milestone in Ghana’s efforts to addressing deforestation and forest degradation.

It represents a major step in Ghana’s commitment to sustainable development and environmental stewardship.

It also aims at promoting sustainable land use and forest conservation, while generating revenue for local communities and supporting Ghana’s climate change mitigation efforts.

Ms Ross, while explaining the scope of the project, stated that over two million hectares of land in the country would be used to plant various trees and other carbon credit innovations.

She stated that Tullow had, over the years, made significant investments in the fight towards zero carbon emissions with over US$40million committed so far.

She outlined the socio-economic benefits of the project and explained that Tullow would continue to engage the Forestry Commission and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the success of the project.

The REDD+ programme, Ms Ross said, would preserve large areas of forest across 14 administrative districts in the Bono and Bono East regions which were among the areas mostly affected by deforestation resulting from economic activities such as cash crop clearance and overgrazing.

The programme would focus on two million hectares of land across the identified areas, she added, noting “it will involve forest conservation activities and livelihood enhancements to the communities and people in close proximity to the areas.”

Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, hailed the Agreement, describung it as a “bold and ambitious” initiative that demonstrated Ghana’s leadership in addressing the global challenge of climate change.

He emphasised the importance of fair pricing of carbon credits, noting that Ghana’s partnership with Tullow set a new benchmark for carbon pricing in the region.

“The ERPA is part of Ghana’s broader efforts to promote sustainable forest management and reduce deforestation and forest degradation,” he added.

Ghana, he said, had made significant progress in recent years, with initiatives such as the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme and the Ghana Shea Landscape Emission Reductions Project.

The Minister believed that the partnership with Tullow would generate significant revenue for local communities and support Ghana’s climate change mitigation efforts.

It also demonstrated the country’s commitment to sustainable development and environmental protection, and set an example for other countries to follow, he added.

Ms Harriet Thompson, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, said she was proud of Ghana for her continued dedication to curtailing forest degradation and mitigating climate change effects.

She noted that with Ghana’s enthusiasm in reducing carbon emissions,, the British Government believed that many more successes would be chalked.

She congratulated the team at Tullow and the Forestry Commission for the height achieved and encouraged other organisations to follow the example saying, “doing this is good for the business, good for the climate and good for the people”.

Mr John Allotey, the Chief Executive Officer, Forestry Commission, provided further details about the Agreement, indicating that it would span a decade and position the Forestry Commission as a major source of approved and reliable carbon credit.

He explained that the official announcement was the crowning moment of intensive, dedicated and sustained engagements between the Commission and Tullow Ghana over the past five years.

He also emphasized the commitment of the Commission to the production of high integrity carbon credit that would be appealing to the international market.

There were congratulatory statements from traditional authorities and civil society organisations that applauded the Forestry Commission and Tullow for their efforts at mitigating climate change effects.