Deputy National Director of A Rocha Ghana, Daryl Bosu has described the new Emission Levy tax as fraud against Ghanaians.
He said the imposition of the Emissions Levy Act, 2023 (Act 1112) on Ghanaians is unjust because Ghana as a developing country has least emission levels.
The Environmentalist added that on the global front, taxes and emissions levy is only applied to developed countries since emission is peak in such countries.
According to him, government is perpetuating an injustice with the emission levy when it has recognised on international platforms like COP28 that Ghana is amongst the countries with the least contribution to climate change.
“Our government has been on these international platforms talking about just climate transition and the need to ensure that even if we have to really pay for something, you need to recognise that some countries are least developed and so should not be responsible.
“That has been our major problem with this levy. The fact that it is not recognising that we in Ghana are least responsible for the emission…we talk about climate just transition and all that when we go out there but when we come home, we actually perpetuate an injustice where we actually tax our people for something that we are not responsible for and this is where we think that the law is fraud,” he said on Ghana Tonight, Wednesday, January 31.
Daryl Bosu believes that the emission levy is a “replicate of the Sanitation and Pollution levy” which is charged on petroleum and diesel purposely meant to address issues of air quality and pollution.
He suggested that if government is serious about dealing with emissions, then it must enforce the ‘cap and tray’ scheme.
This, he explained is where “for particular sectors you set a threshold and say that as an entity within this particular sector do not emit beyond this threshold. If you do, then we are forced to tax you. That would have been better than setting a blanket tax for almost every citizen.”
The Emission levy was passed by Parliament last year and will take effect from February 1, 2024.
The Act will impose a levy on carbon dioxide equivalent emissions on internal combustion engine vehicles.
According to the Ghana Revenue Authority, the implementation of the emissions levy aims to promote the adoption of eco-friendly technology and green energy, contributing to improved environmental management and the control of air and water pollution.
The Authority stated that individuals obligated to pay the Emissions Levy must complete the registration process and make the levy payments exclusively through the ghana.gov platform.