FAO Regional Office for Africa

United Nations regional office plugs into renewable energy source

FAO reduces its carbon footprint with a green and solar-powered system

Photo: ©FAO/Kleo

17 December 2019, Accra—To reduce its carbon footprint by creating climate smart facilities, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Office for Africa inaugurated its new solar energy system, a first among FAO offices in the region.

The inauguration held on 11 December 2019 at the regional headquarters in Accra brought together public and private sector partners, UN agencies, as well as members of the diplomatic corps. They have been called upon to demonstrate commitment to challenge the status quo, take decisive action, and invest in green energy for the sustainability of the planet.

Inaugurating the energy system and addressing the participants, Assistant Director-General and FAO Regional Representative for Africa, Abebe Haile Gabriel, lauded the commitment of the United Nations towards renewable sources of energy. He said, “This is just one of our many actions towards delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN initiative on Greening the Blue. Here at the FAO regional office in Ghana, we are working with the government and partners in going green and turning on the switch towards sustainable energy.”

Energy savings

The 320-panel photovoltaic system can generate enough power in optimal conditions to cover up 30 to 40 percent of the power consumption, significantly reduce energy-related expenses, and lower the environmental footprint of the regional office.

The installation of this system highlights the growing effects of climate change on the continent, especially on rural farmers and pastoralists. The solar power installation displays the strong commitment of FAO to contribute towards climate action, and through sustainable and renewable energy, FAO is embarking on a number of initiatives in the age of climate change. The solar panel installation is the first step in subsequent green initiatives such as banning single-use plastics in the premises and activities, and the complete migration to energy-saving lighting in the facilities.

Kennedy Osei Nyarko, the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, and H.E. Pingrenoma Zagré, Ambassador of Burkina Faso to Ghana, as well as other dignitaries, FAO country representatives for Africa, and the UN Country Team attended the event.

About the Greening the Blue Initiative

The UN’s journey towards climate neutrality began on 5 June 2007 when UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon publicly called on all UN agencies, funds and programmes to ‘go green’ and become climate neutral.

Visit https://www.greeningtheblue.org/ for more information on the initiative and read more on how FAO and other UN agencies are doing to reduce their carbon footprint.

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