Press Statement: Ghana Youth Environmental Movement Responds to the Implementation of the Emissions Levy
Today, the Ghana Youth Environmental Movement (GYEM) reflects on the implementation of the Emissions Levy Act, 2023 (Act 1112), which came into effect on February 1, 2024. While the levy is now operational, the GYEM feels compelled to address the broader concerns and criticisms surrounding this initiative.
As agents of Ghana's environment and advocates for sustainable practices, we acknowledge the government's efforts to tackle greenhouse gas emissions and promote eco-friendly technologies. However, we cannot ignore the prevailing skepticism and apprehension within our community regarding the efficacy and transparency of the emissions levy.
Our movement has been disheartened by the absence of active engagement and transparency from environmental groups regarding the levy. It is essential that civil society organizations play a proactive role in shaping environmental policy and advocating for accountability in its implementation.
While the concept of environmental taxes as a means to phase out fossil fuels and generate revenue for environmental initiatives is commendable, there are valid concerns about fairness and accountability. The lack of transparency of previous environmental funds has eroded public trust and raised doubts about the government's ability to utilize the proceeds from the emissions levy effectively.
We share the frustration of many citizens who fear that the levy will merely serve as another revenue-generating scheme, with little tangible impact on addressing environmental degradation. The disproportionate burden of the levy on low and middle-income earners exacerbates social inequality and undermines the principle of environmental justice.
Furthermore, the lack of accountability surrounding carbon trading schemes and previous environmental initiatives underscores the urgent need for transparency and oversight. Despite repeated warnings and protests, environmental issues such as illegal mining (galamsey) and water pollution continue unabated, casting doubt on the government's commitment to genuine environmental stewardship.
The Ghana Youth Environmental Movement, calls upon the government to prioritize transparency, accountability, and public participation in environmental decision-making processes. We urge policymakers to address the root causes of environmental degradation and climate change in Ghana, rather than pursuing short-term economic gains at the expense of our planet's health.
In conclusion, the implementation of the emissions levy marks a pivotal moment in Ghana's environmental policy landscape. It is incumbent upon all stakeholders, including the government, civil society, and citizens, to work together to ensure that this initiative leads to meaningful change and a sustainable future for generations to come.
Ghana Youth Environmental Movement (GYEM)