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Nigeria, others launch new Africa carbon markets initiative at COP 27

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam
10 November 2022   |   4:24 am
A new Africa Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI) has been launched at the ongoing climate change summit in Egypt, which aims to support the growth of carbon credit production and create jobs in Africa.

[FILE] Sameh Shoukry President COP 27 speaks during the Opening Ceremony on the first day of the COP27 UN Climate Change Conference, held by UNFCCC in Sharm El-Sheikh International Convention Center, Egypt on November 6, 2022. Alok Sharma COP26 President hands over presidency to Sameh Shoukry of Egypt. COP27, running from November 6 to November 18 in Sharm El Sheikh focuses on implementation of measures already agreed during previous COPs. The Conference in Sharm El Sheikh focuses also on the most vulnerable communities as the climate crisis hardens life conditions of those already most disadvantaged. (Photo by Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto) (Photo by Dominika Zarzycka / NurPhoto / NurPhoto via AFP)

• ACMI to produce 300m carbon credits yearly by 2030, 1.5bn by 2050
• Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, others commit to scaling voluntary carbon markets

A new Africa Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI) has been launched at the ongoing climate change summit in Egypt, which aims to support the growth of carbon credit production and create jobs in Africa.

Carbon markets offer an incredible opportunity to unlock billions for the climate finance needs of African economies while expanding energy access, creating jobs, protecting biodiversity, and driving climate action. However, Africa currently produces only a tiny percentage of its carbon credit potential.
 
The initiative intends to promote demand for existing credits, or those already in development, as well as for products and innovative project types that don’t yet have a market and can substantively contribute to economic prosperity, livelihoods and environmental preservation across the continent (such as diesel decommissioning or biodiversity credits).

Led by a 13-member steering committee of African leaders, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and carbon credit experts, ACMI was launched with the aim of dramatically expanding Africa’s participation in voluntary carbon markets.

The initiative was inaugurated at COP 27, in collaboration with The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), and the UN Economic Commission for Africa, with the support of the UN Climate Change High Level Champions – Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin and Nigel Topping.

 
ACMI announced a bold ambition for the continent: to reach 300 million credits produced yearly by 2030. This level of production would unlock six billion in income and support 30 million jobs. By 2050, ACMI is targeting over 1.5 billion credits produced yearly in Africa, leveraging over $120 billion and supporting over 110 million jobs.

Multiple African nations, including Kenya, Malawi, Gabon, Nigeria and Togo, shared their commitment to collaborating with ACMI to scale carbon credit production via voluntary carbon market activation plans. Together, these seven countries have a maximum potential to generate ~300+ MtCO2e. Even capturing 25 per cent of this potential, ~75 MtCO2e would be double the total credits issued across the entire continent in 2021.

Speaking on the new initiative, Vice President of Nigeria and ACMI steering committee member, Yemi Osinbajo, said: “Carbon markets can deliver tremendous benefits for Nigeria and for Africa, creating jobs, driving green investment, and reducing emissions. Nigeria is putting the groundwork in place today, so that in subsequent years, carbon credits become a major industry that will benefit our people.”

The CEO of SEforALL and a member of the ACMI’s steering committee, Damilola Ogunbiyi, said: “The current scale of financing available for Africa’s energy transition is nowhere close to what is required. Achieving the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative targets will provide much-needed financing that will be transformative for the continent.”
 
Crucially, ACMI is committed to supporting high-integrity credits where an equitable and transparent distribution of revenue goes to communities. ACMI steering committee member and USAID Chief Climate Officer Gillian Caldwell noted: “The African voluntary carbon market will only succeed if people trust that African credits are driving real climate action and having a positive human impact. As the VCM scales in Africa, USAID and ACMI will ensure that it does so with integrity as a core pillar.”

To stimulate the production of high-integrity credits, the ACMI is collaborating with global integrity initiatives, like the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (IC-VCM) and the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI), as well as other regional carbon market platforms.