For the fifth time the African Development Bank was a co-organizer of the Africa Carbon Forum (ACF) along with UN agencies, the World Bank and the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). This important forum was held from July 3-5, 2013 in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.
Given the challenges of the current carbon market, ACF reflected on how the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and other mitigation and financing mechanisms have performed to date ad discussed how those mechanisms could continue to be successfully applied on the African continent.
As the premier financing and development institution for Africa, committed to promoting viable financing solutions for climate-friendly development on the continent, the AfDB strongly supports the continuation and the scaling up of those mechanisms.
Despite the low prices of carbon credits, improvements to the CDM and opportunities for new sources of demand drew over 400 participants to the three-day forum, which was opened by Daniel Kablan Duncan, Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire. Duncan expressed his support for low carbon development as a viable option for his country.
"To date Africa has the lowest number of registered CDM projects representing a little more than two percent of the overall registered CDM projects worldwide and is not sufficient," said Kurt Lonsway, Manager of the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department at the African Development Bank. He added: "We hope that continuation and strengthening of CDM will facilitate the participation of many more on the continent." During the first Plenary Session on CDM: Achievements and Lessons Learned; The Future of the Mechanism moderated by Lonsway, he polled the audience twice on whether they felt that the CDM had a future in Africa. Just over half were positive demonstrating that important improvements will be required to reduce transaction costs and simplify requirements for African countries to access the mechanism.
The AfDB has embarked on an ambitious program at powering a low-carbon pathway in Africa. Through the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department, the Bank serves as a platform to deliver advisory services necessary to mobilize transformative environment and climate finance, including helping countries and project gain access to carbon markets. Funds channeled through financing windows such as the Climate Investments Funds (CIF), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), a recently created Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), the first phase of African Carbon Support Programme (ACSP), and the new Africa Hub of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL) are directly invested to support the transport, communications, agriculture, water and energy sectors. The goal is to ensure that climate finance effectively reaches the continent and is tailored to Africa's needs.
During the 5th Africa Carbon Forum, the latest developments of the regulatory framework, including possible new market-based mechanisms to enhance the cost-effectiveness of climate mitigation actions, were discussed and debated. Diverse mitigation instruments such as domestic cap-and-trade, low-emission development strategies and nationally appropriate mitigation actions were highlighted. The Forum also stressed the growing interest in low-carbon development finance opportunities and the commitment of the development partners to support them on the continent.