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30 Nov 2020

Goldman Prize

Ghana: Environmental defender Chibeze Ezekiel wins 2020 Goldman Environmental Prize for Africa

Chibeze “Chi” Ezekiel ... is the national coordinator of 350 Ghana Reducing Our Carbon (350 G-ROC), an affiliate of the environmental NGO 350.org. He also founded Strategic Youth Network for Development, harnessing the energy of youth to make environmental and social changes. For more than a decade, Ezekiel has organised Ghana’s youth around environmental sustainability and climate crisis issues... As a direct result of Chibeze Ezekiel’s four-year grassroots campaign, the Ghanaian Minister of Environment canceled the construction of a 700-megawatt (MW) coal power plant and adjoining shipping port to import coal...

In 2013, the Ghanaian government proposed construction of a 700-MW coal power plant and adjoining new port in Aboano, a coastal fishing community in Ekumfi district. The proposal was part of China’s aggressive push for coal development across the globe; its energy companies are projected to comprise nearly half of new coal generation worldwide in the next decade. The Ekumfi project, proposed by the Volta River Authority and Shenzhen Energy Group, required a $1.5 billion loan from the China African Development Fund to finance both the coal power plant and port. Because Ghana has no coal reserves, the port was an essential part of the plan for importing the raw materials—a proposed 2 million tons annually from South Africa.