Inside the East Africa Carbon Markets Forum

Inside the East Africa Carbon Markets Forum
East Africa Carbon Markets Forum 2024. PHOTO/COURTESY

Summary:

  • The East Africa Carbon Markets Forum concluded successfully, showcasing innovative carbon market initiatives for sustainable development. Key highlights include Uganda’s focus on renewable energy, impending regulations for carbon trading, and the potential for impactful partnerships.

KAMPALA, (Examiner) – The East Africa Carbon Markets Forum has wrapped up with resounding success, signaling a pivotal step forward in promoting sustainable development through innovative carbon market initiatives.

Hosted by 1MTN, a developer of carbon removal projects, alongside Next Media and various partners, the two-day gathering united diverse stakeholders, including government officials, industry leaders, innovators, financiers, and investors. Together, they delved into strategies for accelerating the shift toward a low-carbon economy in East Africa.

Themed “Unlocking Opportunities for Sustainable Development,” the event saw the launch of the Uganda Carbon Markets Association.

During her address, State Minister of Environment, Beatrice Atim Anywar, highlighted the imminent finalization of regulations governing participation in Article 6, set to be endorsed by the Ministry. She underscored the need to address financial and technical capacity gaps, advocating for the integration of Article 6 plans with National Determined Contributions (NDCs) and support for regional pilot projects and studies.

Over the course of the forum, attendees engaged in discussions and workshops covering a spectrum of topics, from regulation and impact investing to carbon finance, renewable energy, and nature-based solutions. The event showcased innovative case studies and practical sessions.

Beyond knowledge exchange, participants expressed enthusiasm for the opportunities unveiled and the collaborative ethos fostered throughout the forum.

Brian Isabirye, Commissioner of Renewable Energy at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, outlined Uganda’s NDC goals of reducing emissions by 18.8 percent by 2030 through energy and transport initiatives. He emphasized Uganda’s renewable energy potential, citing opportunities for carbon trading and investment in solar, geothermal, and hydropower projects.

Isabirye called for partnerships with investors to harness carbon market mechanisms for digitalization, technological resilience, and sustainable development.

The recent enactment of the National Climate Change Act by the government establishes institutions and regulations to guide climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Margaret Athieno Mwebesa, Commissioner for Climate Change at the Ministry of Water and Environment, highlighted Uganda’s potential to benefit from carbon trading, driven by its natural capital wealth. She outlined efforts to explore innovative financing mechanisms, including carbon markets.

Chief convener Anete Garoza, Chief Climate Officer at 1MTN, described the event as a platform where international and local experts shared insights and experiences, fostering mutual learning and collaboration. With 300 deeply engaged guests recognizing the potential of carbon markets in combating climate change, the forum became a hub for networking, facilitating deals, and forging partnerships.

Looking ahead, Garoza proposed making the forum an annual tradition to sustain momentum.

As the forum drew to a close, participants departed with renewed dedication to advancing sustainable development in East Africa.

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