The country needs to strike a fair balance between resource exploitation and environmental sustainability, panellists at the maiden Environmental and Sustainability Summit 2022 organised by the B&FT have urged.
They spoke on the topic ‘Ensuring sustainable environment: the role of oil marketing companies’, and said oil companies, whether downstream or upstream, are profit-oriented in nature; hence, the country must find a right balance between the need to maximise its resources and environmental sustainability.
The panellists – including Dr. Henry Kwabena Kokofu, Chief Executive Officer of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Kwame Jantuah, an energy consultant and legal practitioner; and Kingsley Amoakwa-Boadu, an oil and gas legal consultant – said the state could achieve this through policies which ensure that its natural resources are exploited in a profitable and sustainable manner.
“Environmental laws and their enforcement in the country is very complex,” says Dr. Kokofu – who revealed that due to the complex nature of dealing with environmental issues, his outfit plans to institute measures which will enable it to get real-time information on environmental sustainability from producing companies across the country.
“If we had the nerve to ban plastics like Kenya and Rwanda, we would have cleared a huge part of the pollution problem; but we don’t seem to have the nerve to do that,” Mr. Jantuah said.
Apart from this, Mr. Jantuah believes that more needs to be done to increase the technical competency of Ghanaians.
For his part, Mr. Amoakwa-Boadu called for strengthening the legal framework. He said with the right laws, companies – particularly international oil companies – would become much more conscious of the impact of their activities on the environment.
The summit is designed as an annual event and will engage government institutions, academia and civil society organisations with focus on sustainability in the oil and gas industry.