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New All-Africa Carbon Forum In Senegal, Sept. 2008


New all-Africa carbon forum to be held in Senegal in September 2008

Conference, trade fair and capacity-development to boost private sector participation in CDM on continent -- IETA, UNEP, UNDP, WB, AfDB and UNFCCC

Responding to calls for more clean development mechanism (CDM) projects in Africa and growing carbon market interest in the continent, partner UN agencies and the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) announced on Thursday they will organize a carbon forum in Senegal under the umbrella of the Nairobi Framework.

In November 2006, then Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced the Nairobi Framework, aimed at spreading the benefits of CDM. Since then, several more projects have been launched in Africa, but Africa still accounts for just 2.6 per cent of the more than 860 CDM projects now registered in 49 developing countries.

Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UN's top climate change official, expressed his satisfaction with the announcement.

"That Africa can attract an international carbon market event, such as the Carbon Forum, is a strong indication that businesses see potential there. For the Nairobi Framework to be effective and truly help Africa reap more benefits from CDM, effective collaboration between the Framework partners and the private sector is essential. The Africa Carbon Forum is such a collaboration," Mr. de Boer said.

IETA president Andrei Marcu said his association of more than 170 international companies "is excited about the prospect of holding this first ever Africa Carbon Forum in Senegal, and in particular with the partners of the Nairobi Framework. The IETA trade mission earlier this year showed the interest and willingness of industry to implement CDM in Africa effectively."

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB) and the UNFCCC secretariat have joined to implement the Nairobi Framework.

"UNDP considers climate change to hit at the very heart of its development mission. Climate change threatens to seriously undermine efforts to eliminate poverty and reach the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in the least developed countries," said Yannick Glemarec, UNDP–GEF Executive Coordinator.

Under the CDM, projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to sustainable development can earn saleable certified emission reduction credits (CERs). Countries with a commitment under the Kyoto Protocol can use the CERs to meet a part of their obligations under the Protocol.

"In Africa, efforts to capture CDM benefits are accelerating, supported by a number of individual and joint UN efforts. Overcoming the complexity of the CDM and general investment barriers cannot be done overnight; however, our sustained efforts are producing results. The Africa Carbon Forum will provide a unique opportunity for countries in the region to present their projects," said John Christensen, Head of UNEP RISO Centre, based in Denmark.

Konrad von Ritter, Sector Manager for Sustainable Development at the World Bank Institute, pointed to real accomplishments in the past year: "There has been a notable increase in capacity development and a growing pipeline of CDM projects, including 14 with already signed Emissions Reduction Purchase Agreements with World Bank Carbon Funds. While this is positive, we all know that more needs to be done, and therefore the critical importance of the Nairobi Framework to scale up capacity development," Mr. von Ritter said.

For that purpose, the Nairobi Framework partners have presented a comprehensive Joint Program Proposal for which they are seeking donor support. The Africa Carbon Forum will be an important element of this scaling-up effort.

About the CDM

There are currently more than 860 registered CDM projects in 49 countries, and about another 2000 projects in the project registration pipeline. The CDM is expected to generate more than 2.6 billion certified emission reductions (tradable CERs) by the time the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012, each equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide.

ENDS

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