IGES Ghana Eco-Transport Program – Real World Transport Emission Monitoring and Mitigation

Context of Transport Climate Action

Transport is one of the fastest growing sources of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. It also accounts for 90% of overall air pollution in cities, constituting one of the most challenging threats to human health in the 21st century. Reducing transport emissions not only enhances climate change mitigation, but also positively impacts human health, environmental protection and economic productivity. These cobenefits are factored into all of IGES transport projects.

The international community, national governments and city regulators are focused on finding innovative, sustainable solutions to addressing the transport emissions problem.

As most developing countries, Ghana faces rapid growth in vehicle use and resultant deterioration of air quality in its main cities. In order to fulfill its international climate change commitments, Ghana requires appropriate ‘technologies, technical capacity and favorable conditions that stimulate innovation’[1].

The IGES Ghana Eco-Transport Program addresses these demands, mitigating both GHG emissions and air pollution. The program provides a template for international replication at city, regional or national levels.

[1] Republic of Ghana, 2015, Ghana’s intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) and accompanying explanatory note, http://www4.unfccc.int/submissions/INDC/Published%20Documents/Ghana/1/GH_INDC_2392015.pdf


The program’s intervention logic is based on firstly raising awareness of methodologies, science and technologies to measure, report and verify (MRV) transport emissions and to set transport emission baselines, underpinning consequent policy interventions. Secondly, it demonstrates innovative advanced MRV and abatement technologies that deliver emission reductions and air quality improvements on a national scale.

Advanced monitoring technologies provide precise data on transport emissions, identifying the most polluting vehicles. These technologies provide robust information, which allows authorities to set emission baselines, standards and policies quickly and with more accuracy than using modeled data. The differences between laboratory testing and real world performance, as seen in recent international vehicle emissions scandals, are avoided.

Real-world MRV is of particular importance in Ghana, where no vehicle emission standards or inspection schemes are currently implemented and the majority of vehicles do not adhere to international emission standards. Having actual emissions data is therefore valuable for managing and reducing vehicle emissions, empowering governments and other authorities to make informed decisions and to develop effective mitigation policies and measures.

The Eco-Transport Program quantifies carbon reductions, in line with the UNFCCC Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) principles and is being validated under CDM Program of Activities (PoA). IGES authored the revised UNFCCC methodology AMS III BC Combustion efficiency improvements’, which provides simple MRV guidelines, adaptable to Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA), at both project and country levels.


The Government of Ghana is a major partner in this project, with the UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Center facilitating the program coordination.

Key stakeholders include:

  • Ministry of Environment;
  • Ministry of Transport;
  • Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council;
  • Ministry of Finance;
  • Ministry of Health;
  • Ghana Standards Authority;
  • Local NGOs and private sector actors.

Project implementation includes:

1) Building local capacity, setting policy and emission-reduction objectives;

2) Providing tools to collect MRV data, introduce appropriate policies and implement real-world drive cycle standards;

3) Underpinning policy interventions and enforcing the repair of faulty high-emitting vehicles in an equitable and effective way;

4) Providing access to emission abatement technologies that will reduce vehicle emissions and improve fuel economy.

Several workshops were held in the first phase, to ensure a common understanding of the process, set program objectives and understand the requirements and benefits of real-world MRV.

Subsequently, IGES implemented the 1st of its kind real-world transport MRV project in the developing world. The project was undertaken in Accra in collaboration with the Government of Ghana and the support of KfW bank, under carbon market mechanisms (for more details please see IGES Real-World  Vehicle Emission Monitoring Project – Accra, Ghana entry on IGES website).

IGES is currently consulting local stakeholders on a road map for the implementation of transport emissions baselines and standards and a national plan to monitor, manage and reduce transport emissions.


The program is effective in mitigating climate change and managing local air quality, by:

  • Identifying high-emitting vehicles through MRV technology deployment, enforcing their repair through policy and technology interventions. This accounts for reductions of about 20% in CO2 and 25% in black carbon and particulate matter (PM) emissions of an estimated 1 million tonnes CO2 a year.
  • Subsequent deployment of emission-abatement technologies is projected to reduce CO2 by a further 20% and up to 85% of black carbon and PM emissions from vehicles.

Coenefits to human health, economic productivity and environmental protection are significant and will result in additional economic value.

Beneficiaries are:

  • Vehicle fleet operators and drivers (public and private) – improved vehicle performance and fuel economy;
  • The public – improvement in air quality and public health;
  • Private sector – employment opportunities, from the creation of supply chains and emission testing deployment;
  • Public authorities – receive a practical toolbox and cost-effective policy recommendations, enabling the leverage of funding to manage and reduce transport emissions;

International institution funding opportunities – Program development

and quantifiable impacts can enhance financial support through international institutions, carbon market mechanisms and co-finance opportunities, among others.

Potential for scaling up

The Ghana Eco-Transport Program acts as a template for wider development and replication. The Program is expected to evolve into a fully sustainable, transport NAMA.

A challenge has been to get stakeholders engaged, so there is local ownership of the Program. Through collaboration with local partner, IGES Ghana, stakeholder engagement has been achieved. It is recommended that attention to this aspect is given early on in any such project.

The next stage of implementation involves:

  • Constructing a national transport emissions registry based on real-world MRV emissions data;
  • Providing comprehensive local MRV monitoring capability (technology transfer) and ongoing monitoring and validation under CDM/PoA/NAMA;
  • Establishing nationally-appropriate vehicle emissions standards;
  • Recommending a policy framework for reducing transport emissions;
  • Implementing a national scheme for monitoring and inspecting emissions of all vehicles and identifying high emitters;
  • Transferring and disseminating innovative emission-abatement technologies, suited to local fuel standards, vehicles and infrastructure;
  • Creating an innovative business model to allow for the uptake of emissions-reductions technologies, and mobilising private climate finance;
  • Capacity building, training and developing best practice;
  • Leveraging initial financing and deploying innovative sustainable business models.


The project will form the basis for generating multiple new income streams, enhancing returns for investors, incorporating innovative financial mechanisms. Please contact us for further information.

Selected References







Ghana, Africa






Global, Africa, Mitigation, Freight, Passenger, Technology, Policy, Partnerships, Awareness


IGES Ghana Ltd


John Haggas Director IGES 00 44 7886 019736 John@impactglobalemissionsolutions.com

Kwabena Asante Donkor, Ghana Director of IGES:
‘The project also aims to help improve the local transport industry with the evaluation of advanced emission reduction technologies suitable to the region, in a concerted effort to mitigate the damage caused by vehicle emissions and air pollution’.