Overview of carbon emissions produced by Ghana
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What percentage of global greenhouse gas emissions does Ghana produce?

Ghana produces 0.03% of global emissions, and has been ranked the world’s 91st largest emitter of greenhouse gases since 1990. Since this date, their annual emissions have decreased by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -1.9%.

Summary – GHG Emissions in Ghana

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in USD$77.6bn
Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 201912.7m
Change in Emissions since 201816.5%
Percentage of Total Emissions (2019)0.03%
Rank – Emitters in 2019139
Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions since 19901.27bn
Compound Annual Growth – Emissions since 1990-1.9%
Percentage of Total Emissions (1990-2019)0.11%
GDP Per Capita (USD)$2.45k
Emissions Per Capita0.4
6435daa0cf8c0b2fec05728e Ghana and ten largest%2520emitters since 1990

In the last recorded year (2019), Ghana was the world’s 139th largest producer of yearly carbon dioxide emissions and contributed 0.03% of all global emissions. The top three emitters in the same period were China, the United States, and India. These three nations produced 25.2%, 12%, and 7% of global emissions respectively.

641ce7dde9e0ba2a60a73786 Ghana change in emissions 1990 to present

In 2019, Ghana emitted 12.7m metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, or MtCO₂e. This represented an increase in emissions from 2018 by 16.5%.

Emissions per capita in Ghana – average household carbon footprint

The population of Ghana is 31.7m. On a per capita basis, they produce 0.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) per person. This places them 190th out of 191 on emissions produced per capita. The top three emitters per capita are Solomon Islands, Qatar, and Kuwait.

What is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Ghana?

In 2019, Ghana produced 37.7m metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. This was an increase of 5.1% from 2018. 53.2% of these emissions came from CO2, 28.9% came from CH4, and 14.3% came from N2O.

The sector that produced the most emissions in 2019 was the energy industry. Energy produced 20.8m of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This amounted to 55.2% of total GHG in Ghana. The second and third largest emitting sectors were agriculture and waste– producing 27.2% and 9.9% of total GHG respectively.


The industry that produced the most energy related emissions was the transportation sector, emitting 8.75m tonnes of greenhouse gas. The second and third largest emitting sectors were electricity/heat and manufacturing/construction – producing 5.96m and 2.5m tonnes of GHG each.

Land Use Change and Forestry

Land use change and forestry (LUCF), such as deforestation and conversion of natural ecosystems to agricultural or urban areas, can have a significant impact on carbon emissions.

  • Trees and other vegetation absorb and store carbon through the process of photosynthesis, and when they are cut down or burned, that stored carbon is released into the atmosphere.
  • Deforestation and other forms of land use change can also reduce the ability of ecosystems to absorb and store carbon in the future. Additionally, the conversion of land for agriculture or urban development can lead to the release of carbon stored in the soil.
  • On the other hand, sustainable forestry practices, such as reforestation and afforestation, can help to remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it in trees and other vegetation.

In the case of Ghana, their LUCF had a positive impact on their emissions, reducing their footprint by 24.9m tonnes.

After accounting for land use change and forestry, the total amount of greenhouse emissions in Ghana in 2019 was 12.7m metric tonnes.

Is there a correlation between greenhouse gas emissions and economic growth?

In 2019, gross domestic product (GDP) in Ghana grew by 1.5% from the previous year. Measured in US dollars, the economy went from $67.3bn to $68.3bn. In the same period carbon emissions increased by 16.5%. Over a ten year period from 2009 to 2019, GDP grew by 162%, while emissions have decreased by -81.3%.

To put this into context, the compound annual growth rate of GDP in Ghana over the previous ten years was 10.1% and the CAGR for greenhouse gas emissions was -15.4%.

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