Leaders address carbon market potential

The 6th annual Africa Business Forum, which has been held annually since 2018, was successfully held under the theme “Making carbon markets work for Africa”.
The forum was held on Monday, 20 February 2023, at the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa, on the margins of the thirty-sixth ordinary session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.
The Forum jointly convened by the United Nations Economic Commission(UNECA) for Africa and the African Export-Import Bank, with the support of the African Union Commission aimed to drive sustainable energy and bring together governments, private investors and civil society entities to facilitate investment in bankable projects that deliver meaningful climate action in Africa.
The Forum further aimed to build on the positive momentum generated at the twenty-seventh session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt in November 2022, which focused on the use of carbon credit markets as a means of accelerating climate action, and on generating investment to bring about economic transformation in African countries.
“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the continent of Africa’s top priority, and the Africa Business Forum seeks to accelerate efforts made by both the public and commercial sectors to realize it,” a written document on this year’s forum read.
“At COP27, delegations underlined the opportunity for Africa to potentially make use of carbon markets to do two things simultaneously – first, to incentivize green investment pathways and second, to tackle chronic under-investment in critical priorities in Africa – from energy to food production,” stressed Antonio Pedro, Acting executive secretary of UNECA.
“Carbon markets present a great opportunity for African countries to utilize their abundant natural resources to unlock economic value and accelerate sustainable industrialization and economic transformation and diversification,” stated the Executive Secretary, adding, “The Africa Business Forum is an important platform for Africa to collaborate and trigger action on tapping the opportunities in carbon trading but with the assurance that Africa gets the right price for trading its carbon on the global credit markets.”
Africa has vast amounts of carbon stored in its ecosystems with the Congo forests – dubbed the world’s second lung – being able to absorb about 1.2 billion tons of CO2 each year. The Congo Basin holds roughly 8% of the world’s forest-based carbon.
At COP27, African countries launched the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative to produce 300 million carbon credits annually. The initiative seeks to unlock $6 billion in revenue and create 30 million jobs by 2030.

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