Oil marketing companies must work toward a more sustainable and environmentally friendly business model, one that will not only help the environment but the industry as a whole, CEO of African Energy Consortium Kwame Jantuah has said.
To do so, he argues, a balance must be struck between development and environmental concerns.
Mr. Jantuah was speaking at the B&FT’s maiden Environmental Sustainability Summit under the theme The Socio-Economic Impact of Pollution on Natural Life. The panel discussed ways in which oil marketing companies are contributing to a sustainable environment.
“The best way to improve environmental sustainability is through the small and steady steps that are attainable at present. Rather than relying on bulk road vehicles, government should rebuild the nation’s rail system and develop a network of pipelines to transport oil and gas. These changes would reduce energy costs and improve efficiency,” he said.
He further stated that Ghana’s current need for cash means revenues generated from the oil and gas industry are vitally important, stressing that the country must look for ways to exploit these natural resources while also enforcing the environmental rules and regulations already in place.
Mr. Jantuah believes government can make large strides in improving the country’s environmental position by enforcing rules and regulations that are already in place, including resourcing the EPA to monitor spills and polluters.
He added that the drive for environmental sustainability needs to be led by government.
He revealed that several attempts at convincing government to adopt a renewable energy policy for the consumer sector over the years have proven futile.
“They just keep talking about it. If government started adding solar panels to government buildings like schools and hospitals, it would be a good start,” Mr. Jantuah said.
Government’s inaction has been an issue for years. While the governments of Kenya and Rwanda have taken decisive action by banning all single-use plastics, no action has yet been taken in Ghana.
Mr. Jantuah further added that environmental sustainability should be embedded in the curriculum of schools to easily educate students at their earlier stages.
“By starting to expose Ghanaian schoolchildren to what it means to be a good steward of the environment,” said Mr. Jantuah, “they will grow up and be better able to manage environmental issues than the current generation of leaders.”