Climate Activists Criticize Africa Carbon Markets Initiative

By Gamal Khattab September 06, 2023 5041


A group of climate activists in Africa expressed their concerns about the newly introduced Africa Carbon Markets Initiative. They believe that this initiative will only encourage pollution and hinder efforts to reduce carbon emissions at their source.

The Statement

Friends of Earth Africa, an organization dedicated to supporting environmental and rights-based causes in Africa, made this statement after the African Climate Summit was inaugurated by Kenyan President William Ruto in Nairobi.

The climate and justice energy program coordinator of the organization emphasized the importance of focusing on achieving 100% renewable energy in Africa. They argued that any initiative that does not prioritize this goal should be rejected.

The Problem with Carbon Markets

The activists pointed out that the climate crisis cannot be solved by simply shifting air pollution from one part of the world to another. They believe that this initiative would essentially turn Africa into a dumping ground for pollution while leaders profit from what they consider to be a false solution.

They also criticized the concept of carbon markets, stating that they are based on flawed assumptions. Carbon markets equate permanent fossil fuel emissions with natural carbon cycles, which the activists find illogical. They argue that nature-based solutions like afforestation are not permanent, as the carbon stored in trees is released when they burn or when the land degrades.

Alternative Solutions

The activists emphasized the need for Africa to focus on acquiring funding for humanitarian aid, renewable energy, and security. They believe that these areas should be prioritized over investing in projects that raise more questions than answers.

Concerns about Funding

The African Civil Society raised concerns about the involvement of organizations like the Rockefeller Foundation in pushing the carbon markets agenda. They claimed that hundreds of millions of dollars were pledged to boost Africa's carbon credit production, but argued that this initiative is not the solution to Africa's climate problem.

Africa's Potential

Mohamed Adow, the director of Power Shift Africa, highlighted Africa's potential to lead the response to the climate crisis caused by wealthy nations. He mentioned the continent's abundant clean and renewable resources, visionary leaders, and youthful population who can benefit from climate-friendly development. Adow believes that the carbon market initiative is a solution imposed on Africa, and that real solutions should be embraced instead.

Pollution Concerns

Power Shift Africa warned that if the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative achieves its goals, pollution levels will become intolerable. Private companies would be allowed to emit up to 2.5 billion tons of additional carbon annually by 2050 in exchange for purchased pollution permits.