“Clean Energy is the Future”

“Clean Energy is the Future”
“Clean Energy is the Future”

Africa-Press – Liberia. A significant shift towards cleaner energy sources in Liberia’s transport sector is on the horizon as stakeholders launch the Leapfrogging to E-Mobility Acceleration Project, with a clear focus on promoting sustainability and reducing emissions.

The project, an initiative of the Liberia Energy Access Practitioners (LEAP) Network, aims to align transportation policies with current environmental challenges and promote the adoption of electric vehicles as a means of reducing emissions and fostering economic growth.

Spencer S. Taylor, Director of Climate Change and Environment at the Ministry of Transport, emphasized the importance of developing a Zero Emission Vehicle Policy to propel the country towards a cleaner and more sustainable future.

“We gather here today to mark a significant milestone in our journey towards transforming the transport sector in Liberia. As we embark on this Leapfrogging to E-Mobility Acceleration Project, we are committed to developing a Zero Emission Vehicle Policy that will propel our transport sector into a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable future,” Taylor said at the launch of the project at the Monrovia City Hall on Thursday, June 6. “This policy will be a major leap forward in our journey towards a fossil-free, sustainable, and environmentally friendly system.”

Taylor, who delivered the keynote address at the event, served as a proxy for the Minister of Transport, Sirleaf R. Tyler.

Liberia currently has a National Transport Policy Strategy (NTPS) and National Transport Master Plan (NTMP). Although groundbreaking in their time, both policy documents were formulated prior to the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015—and as a result, they do not fully capture the pressing need for reducing emissions and achieving environmental sustainability through the adoption of sustainable transport technologies and solutions like electric vehicles.

“Today, this project presents a timely opportunity to revise our policies and align them with the current realities in the transport sector,” Taylor said. “We recognize that the transition to a low/zero emission vehicle policy will not only contribute to climate goals but also drive socio-economic growth and development in Liberia.”

He noted that the adoption of the policy will be a game-changer for the transport sector. It will not only pave the way for the introduction of electric vehicles, it will promote cleaner air, reduce noise pollution, and create new economic opportunities.

“We believe that this policy will not only benefit our citizens but also serve as a model for other countries to follow,” Taylor said optimistically. “Clean energy is the future and we must start to invest in it now. There is no better time.”

He lauded the initiators, organizers, and funders of the project for their strong partnership that brought such a project alive. “We are committed to making this vision a reality and look forward to working together with all stakeholders to achieve a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable future for Liberia,” he said.

Meanwhile, the commitment to transitioning to low/zero-emission vehicles is expected to have a positive impact on climate goals, environmental sustainability, and overall economic development in Liberia.

The introduction of electric vehicles/tricycles is anticipated to improve air quality, reduce noise pollution, and create new opportunities within the transport sector as they offer substantial environmental benefits compared to petrol-powered ones—producing little to no emissions.

They are also far quieter than their petrol-powered counterparts, addressing a serious issue of noise pollution as an added benefit. According to experts, their adoption in Liberia could significantly bolster the country’s fight against climate change.

Two enterprises are pioneering this in Liberia.

Elvis Thomas, Head of Operations and founder of Emergi Liberia, a sustainable mobility company introducing these electric tricycles (e-keh-kehs), believes they are pivotal for Liberia’s green transition. “Electric tricycles and motorcycles are not just eco-friendly alternatives to gas-powered vehicles; they are also more efficient, and fun to drive,” Thomas, whose company was represented at yesterday’s launch, told the Daily Observer Newspaper in a recent interview.

Currently, petrol-powered tricycles and motorbikes are essential for transporting goods and people, playing a crucial role in addressing Liberia’s unemployment crisis. Transitioning to electric vehicles presents challenges, particularly the need for charging infrastructure. However, Thomas expressed optimism, viewing electric tricycles as a future cornerstone of Liberian transportation.

Karrus Hayes, LEAP Network Vice President, underscored at the launch of the project the necessity of accelerating the switch to cleaner energy sources for transportation to combat climate change and enhance air quality in Liberia.

He called on stakeholders to actively participate in the E-Mobility Project and collaborate towards achieving a future with zero-emission vehicles.

Hayes thanked partners such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ministry of Transport, the Rural Renewable Energy Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the United Nations Environment Program for supporting this important initiative.

LEAP-Network, serving as the umbrella organization for renewable energy companies in Liberia, is dedicated to spearheading the transition towards cleaner and more sustainable energy solutions in the country.

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