Aubagne, July 20, 2011 – From July 4 through July 6, GERES attended the Africa Carbon Forum in Marrakesh and launched an appeal to promote ethics and development outcomes from the carbon markets. While uncertainty is increasing concerning the future of carbon finance, new mechanisms like NAMAs* are now seen as key measures for gas emission reduction in the South.
Post-Kyoto uncertainty at the heart of all debates
The slightly gloomy atmosphere of the Forum showed the deep concerns of project developers and investors facing the post-2012 uncertainty, even though many observers behind the scenes are actually quite confident about the pursuit of carbon markets. The European Union, which plays a major role in these markets through its Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), has already agreed to buy credits generated by reduction projects in the South beyond 2012, provided they are from the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). But this provision would automatically exclude emerging countries like South Africa and intermediary countries in the Maghreb. Indeed, these countries are a driving force for the continent in the field of clean energy and excluding them might slow down the efforts of all African countries. All eyes are now turning to Durban where the fate of the emission offsetting mechanisms, or at least the broad outlines of the future reform, should be set.
GERES side event in Marrakesh
In this context of uncertainty, and bringing together experts from GIZ, Gold Standard, Manna Energy, and South South North, the round table organized by GERES in partnership with CDC Climat raised the issue of “suppressed demand”. This methodology can provide a better correlation between efforts to combat climate change and attempts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals adopted by the United Nations. It means anticipating the growth of greenhouse gas emissions in the least developed countries with a view to their future economic transition in order to generate more carbon credits. This method of calculation should encourage poor communities, with very low emissions, to leapfrog to clean energies by rewarding their efforts to use renewable energies and improve their energy efficiency.
With wide acceptance by all its partners of the need to improve the integration of the concept of “suppressed demand” in the existing mechanisms, GERES has recently noticed a timid step towards recognition of this methodology by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
New post-2012 perspectives
The development of NAMAs is one of the new tracks being explored. It consists of implementing programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by sector of activity. This new mechanism, which can be implemented at a national or even regional level, looks very promising for Africa where emission sources are unevenly spread geographically and by sector.
More generally, African participants are concerned that an abrupt end put to carbon finance in 2013 could jeopardize their chances for development just when Africa was finally going to benefit from these mechanisms. It is also their voices that GERES wants to bring to the 17th Conference of the Parties in Durban at the end of the year with the aim of influencing the reform process of carbon markets and making sure it benefits the poorest communities.
*NAMA: Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action
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