Queenmothers have appealed to the government to reduce the rising cost of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in order not to reverse the gains made in its usage in the country.
They said the constant increase in the price of the product would have a negative effect on the government's afforestation agenda, since people might resort to cutting down trees to use as wood fuel.
According to the women traditional leaders, the situation had also made it difficult to convince people to opt for LPG when its price kept rising.
The queenmothers made the appeal at a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the National Energy Transition Committee of the Ministry of Energy for paramount queenmothers in Kumasi last Monday.
The meeting was to seek the views of the queenmothers, who represented their respective regions on the country’s energy policy in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Currently, the price of a 6kg gas cylinder ranges between GH¢60 and GH¢80, while that of 14kg cylinder is between GH¢170 and GH¢200.
This has compelled some patrons to now buy gas in quantities they can afford, instead of filling their cylinders.
The queenmothers further entreated the government to remove all taxes on LPG and, if need be, subsidise the price to enable more people to patronise the product.
The Queenmother of the Nkonya Traditional Area, Nana Adwoa Otubea II, said it would be unwise to ask women to stop using wood fuel if the alternative was not within their reach.
Her concern was shared by the Queenmother of the Gwolu Traditional Area, Halakuoro Dr Hajaratu Limann I, who said even though women in her area were into charcoal burning, some were still unable to afford charcoal and coal pot and wondered how such women could opt for LPG.
The Mamponghemaa, Nana Agyakoma Difie II, opined that food cooked with charcoal was tastier than that cooked with gas, but admitted that there was the need to preserve the environment through the use of cleaner sources of fuel.
The sector Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, said all over the world, governments were taking deliberate steps to reduce the emission of dangerous gases that contributed to the destruction of the ozone layer.
He said in Ghana, the transport sector had been found to be a major contributor to the emission of carbon dioxide, even though the sector was playing a pivotal role in the socio-economic development of the country.
The minister explained that the objective of the meeting was to seek the input of the women traditional leaders, who represented the largest constituency of people in the country.
He said it was also to present the road map in the country’s march towards a net zero future where mitigation actions would offset Ghana's emission challenges.
Dr Opoku Prempeh further said the issue was how to shift from the use of fossil fuel to renewable energy and said that required a concerted and deliberate effort on the part of all to ensure that humanity was protected.
The Director of Policy and Planning at the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Sheilla Addo, called on queenmothers to rally women and educate them on the impact of wood fuel on the environment and the need to shift focus.
The President of the Queenmothers Association, Nana Amponsah Dokua III, who is the Queenmother of Osudoku, expressed gratitude to the committee and the ministry for extending an invitation to them to also share their views on energy issues.