During a conference held last week in South Africa, Malawi And Zambia They confirmed that they would follow Zimbabwe’s example and demand that a share of the proceeds from carbon offset projects on their lands go into state coffers. Zimbabwe in May hampered the industry by announcing overnight that 50% of all program revenue in the country would go to the state.
“This is climate finance that should and should strengthen the capacities of developing countries to achieve economic growth goals in a sustainable way,” Mangalisu Ndlovu, Zimbabwe’s Minister of the Environment, said on the closing day of the conference on July 7 in Resort Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls, the site of the largest waterfall in the world. “It is not an opportunity for the few to make huge profits, and to allocate a pittance to African countries and communities. This is clearly unacceptable and unsustainable.”
The conference aims to project the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange as a carbon credit trading hub and, more importantly, get the continent speaking with one voice in a bid to enhance its bargaining power.
This feeling was supported.
“African countries should be in the main seat of this work,” said Michael Osei, Malawi’s environment minister. “We must have one common platform where we can discuss our cause.”
An individual carbon credit is equal to a ton of carbon dioxide or equivalent whether it was removed from the atmosphere or prevented from entering it in the first place. It can be bought by polluters to offset their greenhouse gas emissions.
The plan is, ultimately, to have regulators of the continent’s newly created carbon offset industry adopt similar policies and create cross-border carbon registries.
Africa’s share in the global carbon credit market is significant. RippleNami Inc. Inc., a California-based data company that presented at the conference, increased the share by 13%. Kenya, as the continent’s largest exporter, accounts for nearly a quarter of production. Zimbabwe ranked third, Zambia ranked fifth, and Malawi ranked eighth.
But it could be so much more than that. The peatlands of the Congo Basin alone have the equivalent Three years of global annual emissions The continent has ample space for developing reforestation and other credit-generating projects. With the global industry expected to grow by $1 trillion In 15 years as anti-emissions legislation tightens, BloombergNEF estimates, there’s a big prize to play for.
‘A little bit’
So far, carbon credit production agreements on the continent, at least in South Africa, have concluded in the first place between developers and local municipalities or traditional rulers known as chiefs. There were no common standards and few, if any, benefits to the state.
“From what was going on in the past, we didn’t get a good share of the revenue,” Collins Nzofu, Zambia’s environment minister, said in an interview. “Very little goes to most players, chiefs and communities.”
Action is being taken.
Malawi last month Established agency to regulate the industry, while Zambia is looking to enact laws in the last quarter of this year and negotiate with program owners for a share of the income.
Kenya too proceed with the act To give communities a quarter of the profits. In a little reported speech, Kenya’s president, William Ruto, in May told the Pan-African Parliament near Johannesburg that countries on the continent need to claim a share of the profits.
“The legislators here from the various parliaments on our continent should bring this home,” he said, after detailing Kenya’s plans. “Every other government, every other Parliament, must catch up, and must begin to act in like manner.”