UNECA calls for transparent, comparable carbon pricing systems

Global carbon price of $50 per tonne can incentivise Africa to mobilise up to $30 billion per annum

By Kiran Pandey
Published: Friday 05 August 2022
Photo : Wikimedia Commons__

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) is working towards creating a carbon registry to ensure enhanced transparency in carbon marketing, said Vera Songwe, executive secretary, UNECA.

A dedicated global registry will make carbon pricing mechanisms transparent, measurable and comparable, she added. A carbon registry system is a platform that allows organisations to track, manage and trade Greenhouse gas emissions.

An effective carbon market at the right prices can fetch up to $180 billion for Africa, stated the UNECA chief at the first African Regional Round table on Climate Initiatives held August 2, 2022.

The conference ‘Toward CoP 27: African Regional Forum on Climate Initiatives to Finance Climate Action and the SDGs’ was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, ahead of the 27th Conference of Parties (CoP 27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).

A global carbon price of $50 per tonne can incentivise Africa to mobilise up to $30 billion per annum. But, currently, carbon is priced at less than $5 per tonne, Songwe said, referring to a UNECA analysis.

Carbon should be priced higher for reducing emissions, urged Avantika Goswami, programme manager for climate change at Delhi-based think tank Centre for Science and Environment. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has pitched for carbon to be priced at a minimum $135 per tonne in order to cap global temperatures rise within 1.5 degrees Celcius by 2030, she pointed out.

“ECA is developing a Carbon Registry and hopes to use blockchain technology to bring transparency in market mechanisms. A harmonised protocol with a high integrity carbon market can bridge the gap in climate financing,” stated Songwe.

Blockchain technology can enhance the mechanisms used for the transaction of carbon assets, according to UNFCC. “This technology can make carbon trading safer, reliable, efficient, convenient and inclusive,” noted a study published in the journal Energy Procedia.

“Africa contributes less than four per cent to carbon emissions yet suffers disproportionately from climate change’s effects, said Sameh Shoukry, minister for foreign affairs, Egypt and CoP 27 President-designate.

Over a decade ago, the developed countries had pledged $100 billion a year to the developing countries for climate adaptation by 2020. But climate finance provided and mobilised by the developed countries for climate action in the developing countries may reach $100 billion only in 2023, according to OECD estimates.

When Africa needs about $250 billion per year to meet the 2030 climate goals, the total annual climate finance flows to the country for the year 2020 were limited to $30 billion, according to a recent analysis by the Climate Policy Initiative.

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