Global carbon credit market offers rich rewards for Africa

2023-10-21 19:39:41
Global carbon credit market offers rich rewards for Africa

Carbon credit markets enable industrialised nations and businesses to offset their carbon emissions by investing in eco-friendly projects elsewhere. One carbon credit or offset represents one metric ton of carbon dioxide removed from the earth’s atmosphere.

Africa, with its wealth of renewable energy sources, can benefit considerably through judicious and informed use of these markets.

Different countries, including South Africa, Morocco, Kenya, Malawi, Gabon, Nigeria, and Togo have been pursuing this concept through different initiatives. Efforts including forest regeneration, and harnessing sustainable energy sources like solar, wind, and hydroelectric power have been growing and contributing to the overall global carbon offset cause.

During COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt last November, Kenya, Malawi, Gabon, Nigeria, and Togo pledged to work with the new Africa Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI).

ACMI aims to produce 300m carbon credits annually, aspires to unlock some $6bn in revenue and create 30m jobs by 2030. Joseph Nganga, ACMI’s steering committee member, says: “Sustaining the rapid growth of African carbon markets isn’t going to happen accidentally, it’s going to require action by governments, developers, and buyers.” Other ACMI members are Mozambique, Rwanda and Burundi.

During Africa’s first-ever climate summit in Nairobi, Kenya early in September, millions of dollars were pledged to boost Africa’s carbon credit production 19-fold by 2030.

Africa has vast amounts of carbon stored in its ecosystems with the Congo forests, also known as the world’s second lung, able to absorb about 1.2bn tonnes of carbon each year. The Congo Basin holds roughly 8% of the world’s forest-based carbon.

“Investing in nature-based sequestration can provide up to 30% of the world’s sequestration needs,” says Jean-Paul Adam, formerly with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and now overseeing the UN’s Great Blue Wall initiative. “At $120 per tonne of carbon, up to $82bn per year can be mobilised from nature-based carbon credits in Africa,” he says.

Read full article at African Business

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