EFFORTS are underway to establish carbon markets in Namibia – a trading system in which carbon credits are sold and bought to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the impact of climate change.
A seminar on the project, called Promotion of Carbon Markets in Namibia, was held in Windhoek yesterday.
The project is funded by the Japanese government to the tune of US$1 million.
Speaking at the seminar, minister of environment, forestry and tourism Pohamba Shifeta said Article 6 of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change requires Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to formulate robust targets to address climate change – one of which is establishing carbon markets.
He said the project has come at the right time, when Namibia is also implementing its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which are also aimed at addressing climate change.
NDCs are non-binding climate-related national plans highlighting climate-change mitigation, including climate-related targets for greenhouse emission reductions.
Shifeta said the project is designed to create an enabling environment for all stakeholders to participate in the carbon markets in Namibia, adding that key sectors in which carbon credits can be traded in Namibia includes forestry, agriculture and the energy sector.
The project is being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
According to the UNDP, carbon markets incentivise climate action by enabling countries to trade carbon credits generated by the reduction of greenhouse gasses.
This can be done by switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy, or enhancing or conserving carbon stocks in a forest.
Some progress has thus far been made on the implementation of the project, according to the UNDP.
Engagement with the ministry to set up an emission registry unit linked to the current measurement reporting and verification (MRV) framework has been done, while national and international carbon market specialists have been recruited to prepare a detailed carbon market for Namibia, including the regulatory and legal review.
In addition to this, targeted stakeholders have been consulted and engaged.
The project started running in March this year, and will run until March 2023.
The Japanese ambassador to Namibia, Hisao Nishimaki, said the project is a response to the fight against climate change, and carbon market trading systems require countries to cooperate in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
He said Japan wants to support other countries in the fight against climate change in Africa, including Namibia.
Nishimaki said it is his hope that the project would result in the setting up of robust carbon markets in Namibia.
UNDP representative in Namibia Alka Bhatia said the project is an important new initiative in Namibia, and is crucial for the future as well.
She said the world is still off track to keep global warming below 1,5 degrees Celcius.
Bhatia said Namibia needs to be commended, as the country always takes the lead in efforts to address climate change, despite the fact that its carbon footprint is very low.
She said once carbon markets in Namibia is set up, it will be the first in Africa.
In its updated national determined contributions, Namibia aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 91% by 2030.