IFPRI Publishes Discussion Paper on Opportunities for Sub-Saharan Africa in Global Carbon Markets

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) December 2008: The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has published a discussion paper entitled: “Global Carbon Markets: Are There Opportunities for Sub-Saharan Africa?” The paper investigates the constraints that prevent Sub-Saharan countries from fully participating in global carbon markets and suggests policies for better integration.

Despite their high potential for mitigation through agriculture and

forestry, Sub-Saharan countries remain marginalized in global carbon

trading under the Kyoto Protocol. The authors argue that appropriate

climate change policies are needed to unleash Sub-Saharan Africa's

potential for pro-poor mitigation investment, focusing on increasing

the profitability of environmentally sustainable practices that

generate income for small producers and create investment flows for

rural communities. Such policies require: integrating global carbon

trading with the sectoral and micro-level design of markets and

contracts; investing in community management; and streamlining the

measurement and enforcement of offsets, financial flows and carbon

credits for investors.

The paper includes: an overview of global

carbon markets, including opportunities for carbon trading, and the

current involvement of developing countries; an assessment of the

mitigation potential and options involving agriculture, land use and

forestry; a discussion of the major constraints to the participation of

Sub-Saharan Africa in global carbon markets; and options for

integrating the region into global carbon markets. [The Paper]