Osinbajo expresses support as Africa Carbon Markets Initiative launches at COP27

Led by a 13-member steering committee of African leaders, CEOs, and carbon credit experts, the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI) was launched today 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.

According to a press release by the COP27 media team, issued on behalf of the COP26 and COP27 High-Level Climate Champions, ACMI announced a bold ambition for the continent to reach 300 million credits produced annually by 2030. This level of production would unlock 6 billion in income and support 30 million jobs. By 2050, ACMI is targeting over 1.5 billion credits produced annually in Africa, leveraging over $120 billion and supporting over 110 million jobs.

Commenting on ACMI’s ambition, Damilola Ogunbiyi, the CEO of SEforALL and a member of the ACMI’s steering committee, 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.”

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 7 countries have a maximum potential to generate ~300+ MtCO2e. Even capturing 25% of this potential, 75 MtCO2e would be double the total credits issued across the entire continent in 2021.

Commenting on the announcement, Vice President of Nigeria and ACMI steering committee member, Vice President 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.”

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.

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.

ACMI released Africa Carbon Markets Initiative, Roadmap report: Harnessing carbon markets for Africa at the initiative’s COP 27 launch event. The report identifies 13 action programs to support the growth of voluntary carbon markets (VCMs) on the continent.

Although voluntary carbon markets are already growing quickly—retirements of African credits have grown by an average of 36% annually over the past five years—aggressive action will be required to maintain this level of growth over the coming decades.

ACMI is also working with major carbon credit buyers and financiers, such as Exchange Trading Group, Nando’s, and Standard Chartered, to set up an advance market commitment for hundreds of millions of dollars for high-integrity African carbon credits.




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