Ghana's National Energy Transition Framework: Domestic aspirations and mistrust in international relations complicate 'justice and equity'

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This paper draws on a new global framework for energy justice – a fair distribution of decision making, representation, the costs, and benefits of energy services across time and space – to interrogate Ghana's National Energy Transition (NET) framework. It examines the government's justifications for not prioritizing green energy and for moving slowly towards net zero emission target of 2070. Whereas domestic energy justice considerations such as accessibility and affordability drive Ghana's framework, this paper finds a maze of other factors too. Using a thematic analysis of four main data sources (interviews, news items, Living Standards Surveys, and policy documents), the paper finds that the quagmire of economic considerations, global politics, and unresolved national and historical grievances interfere with objectivity of energy transition discourses, which also clouds the obvious inconsistency between policy and practice of energy services. The government's business-as-usual posture cannot achieve the NET targets, but attitudes can change if western countries and major emitters can demonstrate goodwill and objectivity in terms of policy and practice around climate action and energy transitions. The energy transition scenario in Ghana has some legitimacy from the country's policy and intellectual communities and is a microcosm of the wider tensions about energy justice and equity between the global north and south. The finalisation of Ghana's NET framework provides a policy framework for planning towards net zero, and although it's 2070 target doesn't show urgency, it offers the regulatory environment for international development partners to engage and contribute meaningfully to the country's energy transition.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103465
JournalEnergy Research & Social Science
Issue number110
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


  • Energy transitions
  • Energy justice
  • National Energy Transition Framework
  • Ghana
  • Clean Energy
  • Climate Action


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