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General News of Sunday, 23 October 2016


Ayariga’s 'no coal plant' in Ghana contradicts NDC manifesto - Group

Despite assurances from the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Mahama Ayariga ,that government will not permit the setting up of coal plant in Ghana, a civil society group has expressed dissatisfaction at the promise, calling for a national policy to back it.

The minister who was speaking at forum recently disclosed that government has not issued any license to commence coal plant in the country, even though a company has expressed interest and applied for approval.

He explained that Ghana has ratified the Climate Change Agreement hence can not allow the plant.

But speaking to Citi Business News, the National Coordinator of the group, ‘350 Ghana Reducing Our Carbon’, Chibeze Ezekiel was of the view that even though the assurance is encouraging, the minister’s assertion conflicts with the NDC’s manifesto which has promised to construct a 700MW coal plant next year.

According to him, the minster’s assertion may be targeted at a good end, but it will remain a mere rhetoric if it is not rooted in national policy to enforce it.

“Surprisingly, even the NDC manifesto which they launched in September by the president has indicated categorically that they are going to construct a 700MW coal plant in Ekumfi in the Central region and then the minister comes to make an announcement that they will not allow a coal plant in Ghana, so again am not too sure who to believe, the president or the minister,” he said.

Touching on the reason given by the minister to prevent the setting up of the coal plant, Mr. Ezekiel contended that Ghana ratified the Climate Change Agreement sometime back but the ruling government promised to set up the coal plant in 2017.

“I read the Minister’s statement and from what he’s saying that because Ghana has ratified the Climate Change Agreement we cannot go back to establish such a plant. But my worry or my surprise is that the Paris Climate Agreement conversation started not this year, so government was aware about all these discussions about Climate Change issues,” he said.

He stated that it is imperative for government to come out with a clear policy direction to show its commitment to the fight against Climate Change.

“In fact the minister even said that as long as he is a minister he’s not going to sign such a contract. So the question is if the president decides to change him, is he going to bring somebody to come and sign the coal plant,” he asked.