A new Africa Carbon Market Initiative (ACMI) has been launched at the ongoing United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP27), aiming to support the growth of carbon credit production in African countries and to boost job creation.
The ACMI is also to grow the African voluntary carbon markets to produce 300 million carbon credits annually by 2030 and 1.5 billion credits annually by 2050.
It also seeks to unlock $6 billion in revenue by 2030 and over $120 billion by 2050.
The initiative will support 30 million jobs by 2030 and over 110 million jobs by 2050.
Aside from this, the ACMI will see to the distribution of revenue in an equitable and transparent manner with local communities.
The ACMI was launched yesterday, with a 13-member steering committee of African leaders, chief executive officers (CEOs) and carbon credit experts, who would lead the process of expanding Africa’s participation in voluntary carbon markets.
The initiative was inaugurated at COP27, 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.
Carbon markets offer an opportunity to unlock billions for the climate finance needs of African economies while expanding energy access, creating jobs, protecting biodiversity, and driving climate action.
In spite of this potential, Africa currently produces only a fraction of carbon credit capacity, according to the CEO of SEforALL, Damilola Ogunbiyi.
Ms Ogunbiyi said the current scale of financing available for Africa’s energy transition was far below what was required.
"Achieving the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative targets will provide much-needed financing that will be transformative for the continent," she added.
She said the ACMI would support credits that focused on equitable and transparent distribution of revenue to communities.
Another ACMI steering committee member and USAID Chief Climate Officer, Gillian Caldwell, said the ACMI would only succeed, if people trusted African credits to drive real climate action and have a positive human impact.
She added that the ACMI was 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 to stimulate the production of high-integrity credits.
More than 100 African heads of state and governments, and over 45,000 international delegates converged on Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt from last Sunday for the COP27.
On the eve of the two-week global event, Egypt’s presidency set the tone for the gathering with the illumination of the North African country's historic pyramids (tombs of great kings).
They lit up Khafre Pyramid, one of the three ancient pyramids of Giza that dates back 4,500 years, for COP27 ahead of the start of the global climate conference.
Expected to be one of the largest COP summits ever hosted, COP27 runs from November 6 to 18.
It started with the Climate Implementation Summit that will gather over 100 world leaders.
Experts in the climate change space say the COP in Egypt, which has been described as "make or break" because of the pertinent issue of loss and damage, will be focused on turning pledges into action for the benefit of future generations.
The Climate Action agenda being discussed at COP27 focuses on bringing the world together for implementation to ensure a just and sustainable future for all.