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Fourth Africa Carbon Forum Highlights Potential for Green Economic Development in Africa

20 April 2012: The fourth Africa Carbon Forum underscored the potential of the African continent in advancing efforts to combat climate change and ensure green economic development in the future.

Taking place from 18-20 April 2012, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the fourth Africa Carbon Forum convened to discuss, exchange ideas and hear recent developments on topics such as: the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol; the impact of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in Africa; facets of implementing Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs); and the future of carbon markets. Delegates also addressed a number of cross-cutting issues during roundtable sessions, including on the promotion of universal energy access in Africa, forestry and agriculture, climate-smart agriculture, and the furture of the carbon market.

Participants heard that although Africa still lags in active participation in the CDM, a new loan scheme has been established to address gaps in technical capacity and policy analyses, in order to address these lags. The importance of funding mechanisms for undertaking successful CDM projects was also noted, alongside the importance of political will to continue implementing high quality CDM projects.

The role and importance of energy access, particularly low carbon energy access, was stressed by many participants as important for future low carbon development. They identified obstacles to furthering energy access, including inadequate legal frameworks and institutional arrangements, as well as limited investments to build capacity in the sector. The role of the CDM for financing energy access projects was also discussed.

The potential for green economic development within Africa was underscored, particularly if the CDM and carbon markets are to be developed and used to their full potential. Potential sectors and opportunities highlighted include: climate smart agriculture; policies and programmes on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+); and forestry.

The Africa Carbon Forum was co-organized by the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Bank, the UNEP Risoe Centre, Economic Commission for Africa – African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB). The Forum is a trade fair and knowledge sharing event focusing on carbon investments in Africa. It provides a platform for stakeholders to discuss developments in the carbon markets and identify means by which the Kyoto Protocol's CDM and other mitigation mechanisms can be successfully applied in Africa. [IISD RS Coverage of the Fourth Africa Carbon Forum] [AfDB Press Release] [World Bank Press Release]