Dear Rt Hon Alban S.K. Bagbin,
I am writing this petition on behalf of the overburdened but voiceless citizens and taxpayers who are deeply affected by the recent “Emissions Levy” implemented by the Government of Ghana. I acknowledge the government’s responsibility to generate revenue to combat carbon/ health damaging atmospheric emissions; however, the imposition of the “Emissions Levy” on the overburdened Ghanaian is inappropriate and as an emerging leader in Africa exposure science, I solemnly put it to you that the levy is flawed, lacks scientific merit and common sense. If the government of Ghana is committed to addressing emissions in Ghana, key consideration should be given but not limited to the following:
- Fuel quality
- Progressive infrastructure for electric vehicles/ the “just transition”
- A robust infrastructure for quantifying emissions per vehicle
- Functional “Citizens’ Bureau” for a wider stakeholder engagement and discourse
- A complete ban on importation of vehicles older than ten years
- Scale up air quality monitoring efforts in Ghana with a reference grade monitor in each region supplemented with lower-cost approaches
- Reliable and environmentally friendly public transport services in urban centres
- A drastic reduction in the cost of LPG for cooking and heating
- A complete ban on the sale of state lands, forests, wetlands and ramsar sites
- A clean air strategy for Ghana
- A robust infrastructure for servicing and maintaining vehicles
- Support for environmental justice initiatives
- Sustainable agricultural practices
- Locally generated funds for capacity building and knowledge transfer
- Integration of sustainability science into teaching and learning at basic and secondary school levels
- Application of lower-cost approaches for understanding sources of emissions
- Introduction of a polluter-pay-policy
- Locally generated funds to support air pollution research and mitigation
- Coalition of local experts from various organisations, universities and research institutions including non-profits in Ghana for clean air solutions
The “Emissions Levy” in its current state, in my view, places an undue burden on the ordinary people, and businesses, hindering economic growth and exacerbating the financial challenges faced by the citizens. I understand the importance of revenue generation for the government’s various projects and initiatives, but I urge you to reconsider the impact of this particular levy on the well-being of the entire population.
I propose that the government conducts a thorough review of the “Emissions Levy”, with the aim of identifying and rectifying any measures that are deemed inappropriate, unfair, or excessively burdensome. Additionally, I request transparency and engagement with the public during this review process to ensure that the concerns of the citizens and experts are taken into account.
I believe that a fair and balanced tax system is crucial for the economic prosperity of our nation, and I trust that the government will consider these concerns seriously. I request your prompt attention to this matter and look forward to a positive correspondence.
Thank you for your understanding and consideration.
Collins Gameli Hodoli, PhD