Watch the full episode of this week's SDG Hub at the bottom of the article
Ghana, like many other countries in the world, is facing the challenge of reducing its carbon footprint and achieving net-zero emissions. One sector that contributes significantly to carbon emissions in Ghana is the transportation sector. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the transport sector contributes 23% of energy related CO2 emissions and is the fastest growing sector in terms of greenhouse gasses (GHG) emissions in the country and is also associated with significant environmental and health concerns including atmospheric pollution and climate change, pointing to an urgent need to maximize the opportunities offered by effective and efficient transportation systems.
With the growing population and increasing urbanization, the demand for transportation is on the rise, and as a result, the emissions from the transportation sector are also increasing. To address this challenge, Ghana needs to adopt e-mobility to reduce its carbon footprint and achieve net-zero emissions.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular around the world as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In Ghana, there has been a slow but steady increase in the number of EVs on the roads. According to Mr. Kofi Agyarko, Director of Renewable and Energy Efficiency at the Energy Commission (EC) at the start of the first public charging forum, about 1,000 electric vehicles were currently operating in Ghana and ten charging stations had been set up in the country. He added that ".. For the numbers we have in private homes, we do not have the data, but it is to signify that E-mobility has come to stay, and no one can stop it. Globally, we are all moving towards a definite direction and Ghana cannot afford to be left behind". Though 1,000 EVs is only a minor fraction of what will be required, compared to the number of fuel combustion vehicles currently being operated in the country, it is still a significant start.
To encourage the adoption of EVs, the government of Ghana can implement policies such as tax incentives and subsidies. These policies can make EVs more affordable for consumers and encourage them to switch to cleaner and greener forms of transportation. Additionally, the government can invest in the necessary infrastructure such as charging stations, to make it more convenient for people to use EVs.
Apart from EVs, other forms of e-mobility such as electric motorcycles, and bicycles can also be promoted. For example, the Ghanaian company, SolarTaxi who guested last week's episode of The SDG Hub hosted on Asaase Radio 99.5 by Young Reporters for the Environment Ghana, has introduced electric taxis for commercial transportation in Ghana. These vehicles are not only environmentally friendly but also more efficient and cost-effective than their fossil fuel counterparts. Another way to reduce emissions from the transportation sector is by promoting sustainable transport systems such as mass transit and non-motorized transport. This can be achieved through the development of bus rapid transit (BRT) systems, cycle paths, and pedestrian walkways. The BRT system can reduce congestion and improve travel times, while cycle paths and pedestrian walkways can encourage people to walk or cycle, which can also have positive health benefits.
In conclusion, e-mobility can play a significant role in reducing emissions from the transportation sector in Ghana. By promoting the adoption of EVs and other forms of e-mobility and investing in the necessary infrastructure, Ghana can achieve net-zero emissions and contribute to the global fight against climate change.