Electric buses and the policies and reforms needed to get them running was on the agenda at the Ghana Pavilion at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh.
Participants from Government, financial institutions and the private sector, civil society and academia, as well as bilateral and multilateral development partners, joined the event titled Partnerships and strategies for investing in innovation low-carbon technologies: a focus on Ghana’s plans for urban electric buses.
The audience got a detailed look into Ghana’s plans, not only for electric buses, but also for interventions focusing on the e-mobility policy, fleet renewal, and public transport reforms.
The event also highlighted recent studies on market feasibility for electric buses, the national roadmap for electric mobility, and a policy and market readiness framework for electric mobility in Ghana, all developed with assistance from UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre.
Delivering carbon emission reductions and environmental benefits through e-mobility
Ghana is keen to reduce CO2 emissions and improve urban air quality through technology upgrading in the transport sector. To this end, the Ministry of Transport, with assistance from UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre and CTCN, prepared an e-mobility roadmap, a National e-Mobility Policy Framework as well as a Market Feasibility Study for e-buses in Accra, completed in July 2022.
Ghana is also working with various national and international partners to help design, finance and implement sector-specific projects to achieve the NDC ambitions within the transport sector.
UNEP is one such partner, providing technical assistance through the NDC Action project.
A leading country in Africa, open to international collaboration on technology transfer
The event was opened and moderated by Thomas Kankam-Adjei, the National Project Coordinator for the NDC Action Project in Ghana. From the Ministry of Transport, Daniel Essel highlighted the multiple sustainability benefits for Ghana in shifting from fossil-fuel to electric vehicles. He also highlighted the support provided by the UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre and CTCN to deliver technical inputs to a national electric e-mobility roadmap and investment strategy, prioritising urban e-buses.
Jane Akumu from UNEP’s Sustainable Mobility Unit briefed the audience on the historical progress Ghana has made on national transport standards and regulations, making it aleading country in Africa on cleaner transport fuels, fuel efficiency and technology upgrading.
She also highlighted the opportunities available to Ghana to access global climate finance for e-mobility, where UNEP offers technical support through various teams and their accreditation with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Green Climate Fund (GCF).
Finally, Begonia Gutierrez from the UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre summarised how the NDC Action project provides technical inputs and facilitates partnerships to create markets for new low-carbon technologies. In this case, by helping install green charging infrastructure for 75 x urban e-buses. This is achieved by influencing the regulatory environment and funding proposals to de-risk private investment in e-mobility technologies that require only marginal support to operate on commercial terms.
This is part of UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre and UNEP’s work support partner countries through the provision of science-based advisory, to help develop bankable proposals for climate financing in support of national sustainable development ambitions.
New agreement on e-mobility
The event also saw the announcement of a new agreement between Ghana’s Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology to collaborate on e-mobility project development.
The Agreement was announced by Frederick Obeng, Deputy Minister of Transport who also gave the Keynote speech opening the event.
A priority mitigation action
The transport sector is one of six action areas of the NDC Action project. The sector is responsible for a quarter of global carbon emissions, so transformative change is fundamental to address climate change, while ensuring access to sustainable mobility for all and improve urban air quality.
In Ghana, the promotion of sustainable intra-city transport services is one of the priority mitigation actions in Ghana’s NDCs and of the NDC Action project working in Ghana.
The full mitigation outcomes from this work will both contribute to modernising the existing public urban transportation system and lead to significant net emission savings from investing in Battery Electric Buses powered by sources of renewable energy.