COP28: West African countries to establish regional carbon market

2023-12-07 14:27

The 15 members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have announced a joint initiative to standardise carbon certification and trading practices in the region, applying to both the voluntary carbon market and Article 6 credits under the Paris climate change agreement.

The initiative will be announced on Saturday at the COP28 climate conference, at a session held at 9:30 GST at the BOAD pavilion, in the blue zone.

ECOWAS promotes economic cooperation among member states and is one of the key economic blocks in Africa.

The organisation adopted a regional climate strategy in 2022 as the impact of climate change became increasingly visible in the region.

"With the aim of seizing this opportunity for the West Africa region and contributing to the implementation of the ECOWAS regional climate strategy, the ECOWAS Commission, in collaboration with partners working in the field, plans the creation of a regional standardised market for carbon credits," said the organisation.

The initiative will include joint capacity building in countries, including a survey of current good practices in the international carbon market, workshops to strengthen capacity and the establishment of a scientific committee.

But ECOWAS is also studying common carbon market regulations, a joint eligibility list for projects under Article 6 of the Paris agreement, a regional carbon registry and, possibly, the creation of an 'African certification body' to support the market.

Several ECOWAS members - particularly Ghana and Senegal - have already developed national regulations related to Article 6, announced the first projects and struck tentative deals with international buyers including Switzerland and Singapore.

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The group includes 15 members: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

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