Africa source of growth, focus of interest for international emissions offset market
Nairobi, 5 March 2010 - Five hundred were expected but more than 1,000 private and public sector participants from Africa and elsewhere turned out for the second Africa Carbon Forum, all hoping to tap the potential of greenhouse gas emission offset projects on the continent.
Africa accounts for just under two percent of the 2,060-plus registered clean development mechanism (CDM) projects in 63 countries worldwide. However, the continent has seen a strong growth trend in the past few years. There are now 122 CDM projects in Africa that are either registered or in the pipeline for validation or registration. This up from 116 in 2009, 75 in 2008 and just 42 in 2007.
"The offset project landscape is changing. Before when we talked about Africa it was all about the need to raise capacity and raise awareness about the potential for offset projects in Africa. Now we see a higher level of understanding, we see real eagerness to get involved, and plenty of business being conducted. It's obvious the capacity-building is paying off and the message is getting out," said John Kilani of the UNFCCC secretariat on behalf of the five UN organizations and two multilateral development banks that make up the Nairobi Framework, an initiative aimed at extending the benefits of the CDM, especially in Africa.
Launched in November 2006 by then Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Nairobi Framework's partners now include the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Environment Programme, the World Bank, United Nations Institute for Training and Research, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the African Development Bank and the UNFCCC secretariat.
"There is a growing number of projects in Africa and a growing number of countries hosting projects. What's more, some project developers are even prepared to pay a premium for offset credits originating from Africa, no doubt because they are confident in the long-term growth prospects for CDM on the continent," said Mr. Kilani, who is Director of the secretariat's Sustainable Development Mechanisms programme.