There is currently a raging debate in our traditional and social media spaces about a legislation that has been tabled before parliament about a complete ban on over-age and salvaged or accident motor vehicles imported into the country. Over-age cars as our law currently define are motor vehicles that are more than ten years old.

Per the law, motor cars aged more than ten years but less than 12 years attract a penalty of 5% of the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value of the cars. Those above 12 years but not more than 15 years old are to attract a penalty of 20% of the CIF value, while vehicles of more than 15 years old will attract 50% of the CIF value.

As usual, the debate has been taken over by our country Ghana’s “societal nemesis” the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The Environmental and Mining Policy Institute (EMPI) want to put it on record that, over-aged cars are a bane health and climate change issues but not NPP and NDC issues and should be treated as such.

EMPI is not interested in the economic and other aspects of the debate but however the over aged aspect as it has a dire consequences on the environment especially on our health, climate change and global warming.

Motor vehicles or cars powered by fossil fuels are major contributors to air pollution. Transportation emits more than half of nitrogen oxides in our air, and is a major source of global warming emissions in our part of the world and expert studies have linked pollutants from vehicle exhaust to adverse effects on nearly every organ system in the body.

While vehicular emissions carries significant risks for human health and the environment, the current legislation proposal before parliament would significantly reduce the current air pollution from our cars and trucks and help transform transportation.

The major effects of climate change as substantially caused by vehicular pollution in Ghana are change in temperature, erratic rainfall pattern and sea level rise.

Over the past few years and currently, governments have spent and is spending millions of our hard earned currency on sea defence projects as Keta Sea Defence Project, Axim Coastal Protection Works, the Anomabo Sea Defence Wall, the Kafodzidzi / Elmina Seafront Project, the New Takoradi Sea Defence Project, Amanful Kumah Coastal Protection Works, Ningo-Prampram Coastal Protection Project, Nkontompo Coastal Protection Works, etc. and so on.

All these and the many other not listed sea defence projects are as a result of global warming caused by climate change partly blamed on over-aged motor vehicles imported into the country.

For the reasons stated above, EMPI however gives its backing and blessings to government’s current proposal before parliament for a complete ban on over-age vehicles imported into the country.