Tullow commits US$90m to carbon offset project

Tullow Oil has announced a substantial investment of approximately US$90million over the next decade to support Ghana’s efforts in combatting deforestation and reducing carbon emissions. The investment is part of an Emissions Reduction Purchase Agreement (ERPA) signed with the Forestry Commission, highlighting Tullow’s commitment to sustainable development and its ambition to achieve Net Zero emissions. This development brings total investment made by the company to approximately US$130million in Ghana. The company has already invested close to US$40million in the Jubilee and Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) floating production storage and offloading units to eliminate routine flaring.

This initiative is expected to reduce Green House Gas emissions by at least 40 percent by 2025, on a net equity basis, from a 2020 baseline.

The announcement was made by Director for People and Sustainability-Tullow Oil PLC, Julia Ross, during the ERPA signing ceremony with the Forestry Commission in Accra. She stressed the company’s dedication to leveraging natural resources for sustainable economic growth. “At Tullow, we believe that a country’s natural resources must be used to empower people and promote sustainable economic development. As a responsible and progressive oil and gas company, we acknowledge our role in the energy transition and the race toward net zero.” Furthermore, she noted that the agreement is a testament of the company’s commitment to a well-structured, long-term and innovative programme that can secure the climate finance required.

She a added that the projects’ conservation and restoration activities will not only benefit communities but also support Ghana in meeting its emissions reduction targets as part of the global effort to combat climate change.

The US$90million investment will fund a REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) programme developed in collaboration with the Forestry Commission. This initiative is expected to generate up to one million tonnes of carbon offset credits per year and benefit approximately one million people. The programme will focus on preserving large areas of forest across 14 administrative districts in the Bono and Bono East regions of the country, which are among the areas most affected by deforestation due to economic activities such as cash crop clearance and overgrazing.

The programme will involve forest conservation activities and livelihood enhancements for communities in close proximity to the areas, covering about two million hectares of land. Also speaking at the ceremony, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, said over the years the Forestry Commission and Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources have undertaken numerous interventions to address the key drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.

These, he added, were in line with national priorities and international commitments. “The 2012 Forest and Wildlife Policy, the 2016 Forest Sector Development Master Plan among others, serve as guiding frameworks in this journey.” He noted that the ERPA signed with Tullow Oil is a key Voluntary Carbon market transaction, which is very unique as it promotes direct government and private sector engagement, removing any intermediary bureaucracy to accelerate the speed of delivery of ambitions and climate finance.

“It also represents the highest price per tonne of carbon for any direct sale of forest carbon transaction in Ghana and the region,” the minister stated. The British High Commissioner to Ghana, Harriet Thompson, acknowledged that “Ghana continues to show leadership in REDD+ and other forest management activities”. This, she said, has been demonstrated through their engagement, alongside the UK and others on the Forest and Climate Leaders Partnership (FCLP) carbon market conversations, and by the delivery of functional ERPA similar to the one just signed with Tullow. She underscored that: “This project is also an important demonstration of private sector confidence in High Integrity Carbon Credits.

“We are happy to see the private sector play its role, and particularly happy that British companies like Tullow are contributing to sustainable forest management and helping Ghana to achieve its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).” She encouraged other businesses to follow this example in mitigating and offsetting carbon emissions to meet their sustainability commitments, as shareholders demand, while contributing to global climate action.

Source: thebftonline.com