Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has urged stakeholders participating in the ongoing National Energy Transition Forum to set a specific target and propose a plan towards the use of gas and electricity-based vehicles in Ghana.
He noted that as most advanced nations had set a target to end the production of fossil fuel-based vehicles by 2030 in tandem to ensure a net-zero carbon emission, Ghana needed to have a plan towards the use of gas and electricity-based vehicles and work towards realising it.
Vice President Bawumia, therefore, commended the Ministry of Transport’s plan to pilot the use of gas and electricity-based vehicles in the country very soon.
Vice President Bawumia said this in Accra on Tuesday when he delivered the keynote address at the opening of the National Energy Transition Forum on the theme: “Moving Ghana towards a Net-Zero Future”.
The Minister of Transport, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiama, had earlier stated that he would use half of the GH¢20 million of the Ministry’s budget to purchase gas and electricity-based buses for piloting.
The National Energy Transition Forum seeks to solicit stakeholders’ inputs towards the implementation of a harmonious national energy policy that is in sync with the Paris Accord, which aimed at achieving a net-zero carbon emission.
Energy Transition refers to the global shift from carbon-based systems of energy production and consumption such as crude oil, coal and wood fuels to clean energy sources like wind, solar and nuclear in reducing carbon emissions towards net-zero.
Vice President Bawumia observed that Ghana and other developing countries would face the cost of the world’s quest to transition from the use of fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
That, he said, would increase petroleum prices and negatively impact the macro-economic variables of most developing countries including Ghana.
“We have to be aware that this transition is going to take place over the next 30 years, but the cost is being felt today.
“There is less and less funding available for oil exploration and exploitation and we have seen an increase in oil prices globally.
“As this transition is talked about today and taking place, many of these developing countries are facing the very high cost of petroleum prices and that is resulting in economic impact such as high inflation in many countries as prices of goods increase to correspond with an increase in petroleum prices,” the Vice President explained.
“So, we have to be very aware of where this is going. Many have said that petroleum price increase is going to remain at such high levels, and we are not going to see any major decline.
And so how do we as developing countries like Ghana adjust to this new reality or if it becomes the new normal of high oil prices?” Dr Bawumia asked.
The Vice President expressed the government’s commitment to promoting the use of renewable energy sources such as the utilisation of natural gas for generation, expansion of gas pipelines to key demand centres, increase access to liquefied petroleum gas for household cooking and electricity, small and medium hydropower in the national energy mix.
He gave the assurance that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Chair of ECOWAS would champion efforts to make the best of global energy transition in the sub-region.
He said the regional bloc needed to undertake broad consultation on the sub-region’s energy transition plan based on individual country’s plans.
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, said Ghana’s quest for a net-zero carbon emission should not be achieved at the expense of the country’s development.
He said the country would make a conscious effort to ensure that Ghana continues to achieve its development agenda in an environmentally safe and friendly manner.
The forum was organised by the Ministry of Energy in collaboration with the ministries of Transport, Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and Finance.
It is expected that six other regional fora will be organised in the next two months to solicit stakeholders’ inputs towards ensuring a harmonious energy policy that is in sync with the Paris Accord.