- William Asiko, Managing Director for Africa at The Rockefeller Foundation, calls for a substantial increase in Africa’s carbon credit supply, aiming to reach 40% of its potential by 2030.
- Asiko emphasizes the importance of Africa’s carbon markets as a model for the Global South and a means to transfer financing from high-income to low and middle-income countries.
- Climate activists on the continent criticize the endorsement of carbon markets, highlighting Africa’s urgent need for climate finance, estimated at $750 billion to $1.3 trillion per year by 2025.
- The African Carbon Market Initiative (ACMI), launched by The Rockefeller Foundation, Sustainable Energy for All, and the Global Alliance for People and Planet, seeks to increase verified African carbon credits twenty-fold and trade 300 million metric tons per year.
- Critics express concerns about carbon markets incentivizing polluting sectors, hindering emissions reduction, and potential land grabs and human rights abuses associated with carbon credit projects.
- United Arab Emirates pledges to purchase $450 million worth of carbon credits from ACMI at the Africa Climate Summit.
- President William Ruto signs the Climate Change (Amendment) Bill, 2023, into law in Kenya, creating a legal pathway for Kenya to participate in the global carbon credit market.
- National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula calls for African unity and action to combat climate change, emphasizing Africa’s authority in shaping the global climate agenda.
- Wetangula highlights the importance of African parliaments in allocating resources to climate change adaptation and mitigation programs.
- The Africa Climate Summit, led by President William Ruto, gathers over ten African heads of state to address climate change impacts and commitments, with an expected Nairobi Declaration outlining Africa’s collective efforts.
William Asiko, the Managing Director for Africa at The Rockefeller Foundation, has made a compelling call for Africa to significantly increase its carbon credit supply, aiming to reach 40% of its potential by 2030. This appeal was made during the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, where Asiko emphasized the pivotal role of Africa’s carbon markets in climate action. He argued that these markets could serve as a model for the Global South and help channel financial support from high-income to low and middle-income countries.
However, this endorsement of carbon markets as a climate change mitigation strategy has faced criticism from climate activists on the continent. Africa is in urgent need of climate finance for mitigation and adaptation, estimated at between $750 billion and $1.3 trillion per year by 2025, according to the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN). Sadly, this funding remains largely elusive, with top environmental polluters in the Global North showing little interest in meeting these financial demands, echoing the unfulfilled promise made in 2009 to provide $100 billion in climate finance per year by 2020.
In response to this challenge, some delegates and environmental experts, including William Asiko, have encouraged Global South countries to embrace carbon credit markets as a means to address the climate crisis. Asiko revealed that the Rockefeller Foundation, in collaboration with Sustainable Energy for All and the Global Alliance for People and Planet, has launched the African Carbon Market Initiative (ACMI) to unlock the potential of a voluntary carbon market for Africa.
The primary objective of ACMI is to increase the production of verified African carbon credits twenty-fold while ensuring transparent and equitable distribution of their proceeds. This ambitious goal aims to trade 300 million metric tons per year, capitalizing on Africa’s potential for nature-based climate change solutions.
However, the initiative has faced staunch criticism from African environmental experts and non-state actors. Critics argue that carbon markets may incentivize polluting sectors and hinder emissions reduction efforts. Concerns have also been raised about potential land grabs and human rights abuses associated with new hydro-power projects and tree plantations used to generate carbon credits.
Despite these concerns, the Africa Climate Summit saw hundreds of millions of dollars pledged for African carbon credits, with the United Arab Emirates committing to purchasing $450 million worth of carbon credits from ACMI. African leaders are increasingly advocating for market-based financing instruments like carbon credits to address climate change, and there is a push to expand the demand for African credits globally and establish frameworks for intergovernmental trading mechanisms.
United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and Former Secretary of State, John Kerry, voiced support for carbon credit markets, stating that Africa needs such infrastructure more than ever to combat the climate crisis.
The summit coincided with President William Ruto’s signing into law the Climate Change (Amendment) Bill, 2023, in Kenya. This legislation creates a legal pathway for Kenya to participate in the global carbon credit market, with the establishment of a national carbon registry, regulation of carbon markets, and the ability to enter bilateral and multilateral agreements for carbon trading.
This move positions Kenya alongside countries such as South Africa, Vietnam, India, and Indonesia in establishing domestic carbon trading markets, providing additional avenues for financing climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.
National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula has issued a powerful call to action for African parliamentarians to display unwavering patriotism and solidarity in addressing climate change. Speaking at the Africa Climate Change Parliamentary Dialogue during the Africa Climate Summit, Wetangula emphasized the urgent need for Africa to unite in safeguarding the continent from the devastating consequences of climate change and holding those responsible for it accountable.
Wetangula urged African nations to shift from being perceived as a continent of despair to one of hope, emphasizing that the future lies within Africa. He stressed the importance of Africa asserting its authority in shaping the global climate agenda, despite being the least polluting region and often marginalized on the international stage.
Despite bearing the brunt of climate change’s effects, Africa is often treated with disregard, even though it contributes the least to the problem. Wetangula expressed deep regret over this unequal treatment and underscored that Africa must take charge of its destiny. He called on African lawmakers to be innovative in safeguarding the continent’s interests in climate discussions, emphasizing that the power to do so lies in the hands of parliaments.
“You hold the purse of your countries, and the power of that purse lies in Parliament,” he declared.
Wetangula also stressed the critical need for allocating sufficient resources to climate change adaptation and mitigation programs and the enactment of essential climate-related legislation throughout Africa. He highlighted Kenya’s Climate Change (Amendment) Bill of 2023 as an example of legislation that addresses carbon markets and greenhouse gas emissions.
The Africa Climate Summit, hosted by Kenya and led by President William Ruto, has brought together over ten African heads of state and delegates to address the escalating impacts and costs associated with climate change on the continent. The summit encompasses comprehensive discussions on evaluations, funding mechanisms, partnerships, commitments, and promises to combat climate change.
The event is expected to culminate with the reading of the Nairobi Declaration, outlining Africa’s collective efforts and commitments to tackle climate-related challenges and forge a path towards a more sustainable and resilient future. Africa, united in purpose, is determined to assert its rightful place on the global stage in addressing the urgent climate crisis.
Source link : https://www.africa.com/the-africa-climate-summit-carbon-credits-legislation-and-african-unity-in-the-face-of-climate-change/
Author : Editor
Publish date : 2023-09-06 10:45:57