The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has began a process aimed at compiling Energy Accounts within the next six months to produce data on the usage of energy sources to enable Ghana measure and protect the environment.
This activity is being carried out in collaboration with relevant line Ministries, Department and Agencies including the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), the Energy Commission and the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).
Known as the “Environmentally Extended Supply-Use tables (EE-SUTs)” for Energy, the process would afford the country the opportunity to compile its Energy Accounts statistics that would add up to the stock of environmental statistics, to help improve its performance as far as the production and usage of environmental statistics is concerned.
The EPA, in this regard, held a stakeholders’ workshop designed to build the capacities of staff of the various MMDAs and other producers and users of Energy accounts to help produce the required Environmental statistics.
Participants from the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, GSS, Electricity Corporation of Ghana, Ghana Gas Company Limited, Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo), Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and innovation, (MESTI), University of Energy and Natural Resources, ISSER-University of Ghana, Public Utilities Regulation, EPA, the Institute of Green Growth Ghana, and other stakeholders from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), attended the first inception workshop.
UNECA is providing technical support to Ghana to carry out the data gathering process.
Mr Kwame Boakye Fredua, Programme officer at the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Unit, EPA said apart from the compilation of the energy accounts, the objectives of the workshop, is to sensitize stakeholders, coordinate and engage data producers and users, and further strengthen technical capacity in compiling System of Economic and Environmental Accounts (SEEA).
Data and information from the EE-SUTs would also support efforts in the monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other decision-making processes.
It would help identify data gaps in the data ecosystem and explore ways to address them through the compilation of energy accounts for Ghana.
Mrs Levina Owusu, Chief Director of MESTI, said the importance of data and information on the environment is critical in helping measure and manage the environment more sustainably.
She said the increase use of fossil fuels without actions to mitigate greenhouse gases (GHG would have global climate change implications while energy efficiency and increase use of renewables could rather contribute to climate change mitigation and disaster risk reduction.
Thus, maintaining and protecting our ecosystems will allow us to use and further develop our renewable energy potentials”, she said.
Mrs Owusu pledged the commitment of MESTI and EPA to lead the process that would ensure that Ghana gets its Energy accounts updated within the stipulated period and in meeting and the requirement of the United Nations System of National Accounts (SNA) adopted in 1993.
Ms Fintull Anneca Eriksson, Senior Regional Advisor, UNECA, said the programme is a capacity building initiative where her organisation is providing technical support in developing Ghana’s energy account-energy flows from the environment and within the economy and households which could be measured.
She said it was about the supply and use of energy sources including 12 energy products like charcoal, firewood, crude oil, LPG, diesel, motor gasoline among others which would serve as indicators for policy use in Ghana.
The SNA and the System of SEEA are two international statistical standards that provide useful guidance on the concepts, definitions, classifications, accounting framework and methodology for computing wealth and natural capital accounting.
SEEA Accounts have a wide variety of applications that enable countries to identify their development priorities, baselines, targets and goals; directly support the measuring, monitoring, and evaluation of the SDGs, particularly Goals 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 12, 14 and 15; and are instrumental in evidence-based planning, policy formulation and decision making.
It is important that Ghana takes ownership and implement these frameworks in order to underpin their development efforts with broad and reliable statistical bases.
The activity is a follow up on work on Natural Capital Accounting and the implementation of SEEA in Ghana in 2017 which produced a Discussion Paper, Feasibility Study, Critical Analysis and Implementation Strategy/Action Plan.