Kenya opens Africa's first carbon exchange
* Sees $1 billion FDI in energy--related projects in 5 years
* Other African countries have expressed interest
* Trade expected to start in May
By Beatrice Gachenge
NAIROBI, March 24 (Reuters) - Kenya opened Africa's first climate exchange platform on Thursday, expected to unlock trade in carbon credits on the continent and benefit small scale projects.
Carbon markets are intended to cut the cost of fighting climate change by giving companies the flexibility either to reduce their own greenhouse gases or buy emissions permits.
The Africa Carbon Exchange in east Africa's biggest economy will provide holders of carbon credits with easier access to global markets and information, which in turn is expected to increase foreign investor interest in the region.
"The exchange will pull a lot of foreign direct investments through development of more carbon projects. We will start with a futures market in May and progress to spot once more projects are registered," said Tsuma Charo, chief executive officer at Africa Carbon Exchange (ACX). Continued...