Daryl Bosu, the Deputy Director of A Rocha Ghana, has criticized the government for implementing the Emission Levy on Ghanaians. Bosu has stated that the concept behind the new tax policy is flawed. The government introduced a new tax policy on February 1. This policy imposes a tax on carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from internal combustion engine vehicles.
During an interview with Umaru Sanda Amadu on Eyewitness News on Citi FM, the Deputy Director of A Rocha Ghana, hit hard at the government, accusing it of being insensitive to Ghanaians for imposing the new tax. The environmental campaigner stated that developed countries are more careful with the kind of emission taxes they impose on their people, describing the government as ‘opportunistic’.
“We [policy makers] go out there crying for justice, but we come back home and impose the tax on the day-to-day lives of Ghanaians just because they use diesel and petrol or they use vehicles. In fairness to the people of Ghana, we are actually being dealt with unfairly by our own government and unjustly by imposing this tax.”
“We also think he [government] is opportunistic. The government is being opportunistic in the sense that even for the developed countries. They are very careful with the kind of emission taxes or levies they impose upon their people,” Mr. Bosu asserted.
He observed that governments in parts of the world impose taxes on heavily polluted sectors and do not burden all persons who drive vehicles.
“It’s very sad to see that instead of exploring other opportunities, we go for the more stringent and regressive approach to compelling our people to action to deal with emissions. The whole tax on emissions is flawed in the sense that you put categories of motorcycles and tricycles together, and then you say all other vehicles up to 3000 capacity. A new vehicle has an emission efficiency different from a very old vehicle,” he said.
During an interview, Kwesi Yamoah Abaidoo, the Policy Lead for Climate Finance and Energy Transition at the Institute of Climate and Environmental Governance (ICEG), expressed concerns about the lack of consultations on the emission levy. He stated that there is a need to keep discussing the issue, just like initiatives such as road tolls, to reach a consensus to eventually scrap it. Abaidoo also expressed worries about the government’s lack of commitment to investing the revenue generated from the emission levy.
By: Leticia Osei