Valerie Labi, co-founder of the German-Ghanaian start-up Wahu Mobility, is leading an ambitious initiative to revolutionize Ghana's courier and delivery industry. Wahu aims to replace conventional petrol motorcycles with electric bikes produced in their Accra factory, transforming Ghana's delivery dynamics while promoting environmental sustainability.
The Pricing Puzzle: Carbon Credits
The affordability of these electric bikes, which would cost around $2,000 without any form of financial aid, hinges on the sale of carbon credits. This aligns with a bilateral agreement inked at the COP27 between Switzerland and Ghana. It allows for the transfer of Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes to Switzerland, providing financial benefits for both the Ghanaian government and Wahu.
Despite their importance, carbon credits face challenges due to doubts about their effectiveness, especially those linked to avoided emissions. The value of rainforest carbon offsets has been questioned, and the collapse of a carbon credit agreement in Zimbabwe has weakened market confidence, causing prices to tumble. Yet, carbon credits remain an integral tool for combating climate change and deforestation.
African Companies and Carbon Credits
African companies, such as Burn in Kenya, rely on selling carbon credits to subsidize their clean cookstove products, reducing emissions from cooking. These companies, along with Wahu, are key examples of the strategic use of carbon credits to promote environmentally friendly products and practices.
Towards a Sustainable Future
The industry is developing new standards for carbon credits, including the fraction of non-renewable biomass, to ensure sustainable forest management. The challenges faced by voluntary carbon markets are also relevant for regulated markets, like those for carbon sequestered by rainforests in Gabon.
Simultaneously, Ghanaian mobility company Solar Taxi has announced plans to launch electric intercity buses nationwide. The company has assembled over 450 vehicles, including electric bikes, since 2018, showing the growing momentum in Ghana for climate-friendly transport solutions.