January 20, 2009 / 12:30 PM / 10 years ago

African carbon trading advisory firm launched

LONDON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - A new advisory firm launched on Monday seeks to boost carbon emissions trading in sub-Saharan Africa and raise the continent’s lagging profile in the $120 billion global carbon market.

CarbonStream Africa, a joint venture between South African state-owned CEF Carbon SA (Pty) and Nordic company GreenStream Network Plc, offers advisory services for firms seeking to trade greenhouse gas offsets in Africa under the Kyoto Protocol.

“Africa is really lagging behind, but I really believe it has the strongest potential,” said Deven Pillay, CEO of CEF’s carbon trading arm and chairman of CarbonStream Africa.

“It’s where we need investment...the ingredients are there.”

Under the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism, companies can invest in clean energy projects in poorer countries like South Africa, and in return get offset credits which can be used toward emissions goals or sold for profit.

But with only 28 of the more than 1,300 projects registered so far by the U.N., Africa accounts for a little more than two percent of the global CDM market.

“Africa is the most politically correct region in which to develop CDM projects and we want to be there,” said GreenStream’s Arne Jakobsen at CarbonStream Africa’s London launch.

The CDM market has been hit hard by the global recession, with offset prices CEREc1 trading below 10 euros ($12.98) a tonne for the first time ever on Monday.

Pillay said CarbonStream Africa has a team of five CDM experts, who can also advise on the voluntary emissions markets.

“I’d like to see projects in Africa, by Africans, for Africans,” he added.

To see an interactive table of CDM data by host country and by region, go to here (Reporting by Michael Szabo; Editing by James Jukwey)

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