Can carbon markets help Africa meet its climate financing goals?

(China Dialogue, 27 Apr 2023) The African Carbon Markets Initiative, announced at COP27, raises more questions than it answers.

Africa urgently needs climate finance to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Its negotiators have asked for between US$750 billion and $1.3 trillion per year by 2025. This is an ambitious goal considering the failure of global north nations to meet the pledge made in 2009 to provide $100 billion in climate finance per year by 2020.

At last year’s UN climate talks, COP27, African negotiators were at the forefront of the conversation over compensation for loss and damage caused by climate change. They argued that global north countries, which bear an overwhelming responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions, must compensate poorer nations. This decades-long demand finally resulted in agreement over a Loss and Damage Fund to support the most climate-vulnerable countries.

Against this backdrop, COP27 also saw the launch of the African Carbon Markets Initiative, designed to turbo charge the growth of voluntary carbon markets in Africa. Proponents say carbon markets can play a vital role in ensuring African communities receive the necessary financial support amid the climate emergency.

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China Dialogue, 27 Apr 2023: Can carbon markets help Africa meet its climate financing goals?