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Carbon Markets not universally accessible

One of the many ideas behind carbon credits is that it can be a source of revenue for poorer countries who do not max out their carbon emission allowances. ACET however illustrates how the poorest countries do not have the capacity to make use of these new tools.

“Current data indicates that very few countries in the region [West Africa] have registered carbon projects under either the CDM or the REDD mechanisms. Specifically, as of 2008 UNEP data showed that only Ivory Coast (2 projects), Mali (2 projects), Nigeria (3 projects) and Senegal (1 project) had registered projects. However, by the end of 2010 the region’s total projects have barely improved. Nigeria now has five projects and Ghana has added to the list but progress is at a snail’s pace. There are also some voluntary projects but there are hardly any data as these projects are hard to document.

“The situation is a part of a larger African problem with carbon finance. According to the World Bank, Africa accounts for only two percent of the 3,220-plus registered CDM projects in 71 countries worldwide. Sub-Saharan Africa is the region that has thus far benefited the least from the carbon market and carbon finance development.

“The problems are a lack of capacity and access to finance, and an insufficient Institutional environment. There are currently about 190 CDM projects at different stages of the pipeline in Africa, most of them have been implemented in South Africa.”

Implications from IFTF:

Carbon credits may end up being another source for making the gap between the least developed nations and the rest of the world wider.

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