World bodies to push for bringing Africa into carbon trade net

African Carbon Forum meet an opportunity to review progress on climate change mitigation in the continent'

By Ankur Paliwal
Published: Tuesday 01 July 2014


To encourage investment in green projects in Africa and increasing its participation in global carbon market, the sixth Africa Carbon Forum will begin in Windhoek, the capital of Republic of Namibia on July 2. The two-day event will focus on the present status and future of the controversial Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), carbon markets, climate finance and low-carbon development strategies.

The forum is jointly organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Environment Programme along with the UNEP Risoe Centre, the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Emissions Trading Association. 

“The forum provides an opportunity to review progress on climate change mitigation in Africa including an assessment of both the challenges and opportunities for mobilising climate finance,” said Gilbert Mbesherubusa, Vice-President, Infrastructure, Private Sector and Regional Integration, African Development Bank.

The meet also aims to promote private sector investments in small to medium size renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Africa. For this, AfDB has set up Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa, and Africa Renewable Energy Fund.

The promoters of the forum are stressing on the discussion over CDM which allows a country with an emissions-reduction target to implement an emissions-reduction project in developing countries. Such projects can earn tradable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2. “Despite the current lull in the carbon market, steady improvements in the CDM and the possibility of new sources of demand will keep an interested core of stakeholders engaged in the market,” said Hugh Sealy, the chair of the CDM Executive Board. “Now is the time for African nations to look for opportunities in the CDM.”

CDM a cheap tool?
CDM, however, has been criticised by Indian NGOs for being a cheap tool to earn credits. The rich industrial countries found cheapest emissions reduction methods to earn credits. There has been no transfer of high-end technologies from the rich to poor countries, or investment in clean coal technologies for poor countries. The NGOs have been demanding reform of CDM but no real work has been done so far. 

The forum is organized under the umbrella of the Nairobi Framework, which was launched in 2006 by then Secretary-General Kofi Annan with the aim to assist developing countries, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa, to improve their level of participation in the CDM.



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