[Events > Building capacities to strengthen carbon markets ]

Building capacities to strengthen carbon markets in African countries

Carbon markets are an essential mechanism for the successful implementation of the international climate change regime. The flexible mechanisms established under the Kyoto protocol are among the principle drivers of the development of such markets especially in developing countries.

The Kyoto Protocol requires the countries listed in Annex I to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, according to quantified targets. To help countries meet their emission targets and to encourage the private sector and developing countries to contribute to emission reduction efforts, the Kyoto Protocol has established three market-based mechanisms: Emissions Trading, Joint Implementation and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The latter, a project-based mechanism allows countries with quantified emission reduction targets to purchase emission reduction credits generated from projects in developing countries that contribute to reducing emissions. A fundamental feature of projects undertaken in developing countries within this scheme is that they must promote sustainable development in the host country. 

While the CDM presents a huge potential for Africa, the statistics show that the mechanism has not taken off in the Africa Continent as much as it has in others Continents, even if important growth trends have been observed in recent years. 

One of the key hindrances to the success of CDM in Africa is the lack of adequate legal and institutional frameworks. Also, the complexity and novelty of the mechanism requires diversified and at the same time specialized expertise, including in the legal sphere, as of yet only partly developed. There is, therefore, a big role to be played by policy makers and the legal profession, both in terms of strengthening legal and institutional frameworks and ensuring their proper implementation, and in terms of availing their expertise to support the development and implementation of projects, for instance by preparing effective agreements between the various project participants.

Efforts of varied nature are being undertaken to overcome these obstacles. UNEP and its partners are working together to support the growth trends and address the obstacles that private individuals and institutions in many African countries face in trying to keep the pace with the emerging countries in other regions of the world. One of the initiatives recently undertaken was a capacity building workshop on legal aspects of carbon trading and CDM Investment.

Africa Regional Workshop
Legal and Regulatory Capacity Building for
Carbon Trading & CDM Investment 
28 - 29 September 2010

The objective of the workshop was to build capacities of various stakeholders in selected African countries on the legal aspects of carbon trading and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) investing. It was co-organized by: 

The workshop was attended by representatives from the DNAs(Designated National Authorities) and other governmental offices from over 15 African countries, private sector representatives  (law firms, financial sector, consulting firms), parastatals (power generation companies, utilities, waste management institutions), and non-governmental organizations. Several resource persons also attended the meeting (see list of participants). The workshop was organized over two days (see workshop programme). The main presentations are available below, under the relevant substantive sessions. The full report of the meeting is also available here. 



Objective: to build capacity and discuss options on how to strengthen domestic legal and regulatory frameworks to facilitate increased carbon market investment in African countries.

Primary target audience: Legal Advisors and Policy Directors working within CDM Designated National Authorities (DNAs) or other relevant ministries or agencies in charge of justice and governance, planning, environment, energy, finance, trade and investment. Also African law firms active in carbon market.

 Introductory remarks  

Mr.  Arkadiy Levintanus
UNEP, Division of Environmental Law and Conventions, (DELC)

Mr. Erik Eriksson
Swedish Energy Agency (SEA)

Dr. Todd Ngara
UNEP Risoe

Mr. James Vener
UNEP, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE)

Developments of the International Carbon Markets

Go to presentation

Mr. Moritz von Unger
Climate Focus


Developing a Host Country Legal Framework : a Case Study from Zambia

Go to presentation


Ms. Lanette Chitti
Environment & Corporate Lawyer


Regulating CDM Projects in Africa: Sharing Lessons and Good Practice

- Identification of host country barriers and development of country-specific solutions

- How to manage interagency coordination

-  Approval procedures

- DNA financing (e.g., administrative charges)

- CDM project portfolio monitoring, including sustainable development delivery

- Outreach and stakeholder consultation

Go  to presentation 1 2 3 4



Mr. Zyad Bundhoo
DNA, Mauritius

Mr. Larsey Mensah
Director, Division on Environmental Compliance and Enforcement, EPA, Ghana

Mr. Alassane Ba
Legal Advisor, DNA, Mali

Group Work: 

-  Improving Regulatory Structures in African host countries

-  Identification of key factors of enabling domestic policy, legal and institutional frameworks

Go  to groups’ findings  1 2 3 


Ms. Cristina Zucca

Ms. Ina Engelbrektson

Dr. Todd Ngara
UNEP Risoe



Objective: to build capacity on most prevalent contractual structures for CDM/carbon market investment transactions and how project proponents incorporate international and domestic legal issues into existing and new CDM implementation structures. 

Primary target audience: African CDM project developers, law firms active in or interested in the carbon market, lawyers working within African financial institutions on due diligence and financial structuring of projects, including possibly CDM  

Carbon project implementation in Africa: perspectives on legal and financial gaps

-  View of market gaps and bottlenecks-   Review of experiences and typical transactions-  ACAD experiences & lessons- Engagement of law firms in Africa, commercial issues, market needs- Impact of regional policies, including trade integration, foreign exchange, etc.

Go to presentation 1 2 3

Mr. Bernard Namanya
Twesigye & Namanya

Ms. Teni Majekodunmi EcoXchange Ltd, Nigeria

Mr. Glenn Hodes
ACAD Facility


Carbon Contracts

-  Carbon contracts and letters of intent: key terms, provisions & conditions-   Key template documents-  Risk mitigation mechanisms

Go to presentation


Mr. Paul Curnow
Baker & McKenzie


Programmatic CDM – How is it different?

- Taking into account domestic policies and laws (i.e. E+/E-)- Issues to consider in contracts, due diligence-  Best practice to date, practical examples

Go to presentation 1 2 


Dr. Soren Lütken
UNEP Risoe Center

Mr. Mauritz von Unger Climate Focus


Simulation & Group Exercise: Negotiating a Carbon Emission Reduction Purchase and Sale Agreement

-  Simulation and group exercise 


Paul Curnow
Baker & McKenzie

Glenn Hodes

Ina Engelbrektson


Discussion & Closing Remarks

-  How to better engage law firms

-  Closing Remarks


Mr. Erik Eriksson
Swedish Energy Agency

Mr. Peter Aquah Deputy Director, UNEP, Regional Office for Africa 



Further Resources