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Integrating Africa’s least developed countries into the global carbon market

February 2013 - Africa is among the continents most severely affected by climate change. The least developed countries (LDCs) in the Sub-Saharan region are especially vulnerable to global warming. They are also least able to adapt to altered climatic conditions. While the international carbon market cannot generate funding to assist climate adaptation, it does provide opportunities for the transfer of sustainable technologies and the development of renewable energy sources, and can thus provide stimulus for sustainable development in the Sub-Saharan region.

Over the past decade, the CDM has triggered successful investments in emerging economies and has contributed to emission reductions. The success of the CDM in Africa has, however, been limited: only two percent of all CDM projects have been implemented there. This is despite the strong growth in demand carbon credits from African countries – not least through special provisions for CERs from LDCs at EU level and due to simplification of the CDM procedures as regards microprojects and countries with less than 10 registered CDM projects.

Against this backdrop, the German Environment Ministry commissioned a research project to investigate how Africa’s least developed countries can be better integrated into the global carbon market. This involved assessing the potential for CDM projects, the obstacles and barriers, and possible solution strategies that go beyond traditional capacity building efforts.

The project was conducted by a consortium comprising the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, and GFA ENVEST, Hamburg. The final report of the research project was presented to BMU at the end of 2012. A summary of the report and further products of the two-year research activity are published on this website.