Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al-Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates has signed several carbon offset agreements with African countries on behalf of Blue Carbon, the company he chairs.
These agreements cover a fifth of Zimbabwe, 10% of Liberia, 10% of Zambia and 8% of Tanzania, an area larger than the United Kingdom. The last deal was signed with Kenya in October and covers millions of hectares.
In a statement, Blue Carbon expects to trade credits from the projects as national contributions to the Paris Agreement. Few details have been disclosed, but sources said Guardian One of them, signed with Liberia in July, gives the company the exclusive right to sell credits for 30 years, keeping 70% of sales. But, according to the provisions of the Paris Agreement, the countries that sold the loans cannot use them for their own obligations.
Some involved in the deals said carbon markets could provide much-needed financial support to African countries where other sources of climate finance have failed. However, there are those who worry.
“Large swathes of land across Africa have been captured by blue carbon through multiple agreements over decades, sealing the fate of the lands millions of vulnerable communities depend on for their livelihoods,” noted activist Alexandra Benjamin of the NGO Fern. “At COP28, countries will meet to discuss carbon offsetting rules – and these negotiators should call these agreements what they are: land grabs. Forest communities must have free, prior and informed consent before any agreement is signed.
David Obura, Founding Director of Cardio East Africa and Chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) added, “Carbon is one of nature’s only contributions to people that is easily monetized. So anything that is not monetized is deleted or forgotten. Exclusivity and access to people and There are very high risks involved in acquiring rights.
Another issue raised is that the carbon trading system could cause big polluters, such as the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and China, to buy emissions reductions or eliminations from developing countries.
Blue Carbon told the British newspaper that free, prior and informed consent is fundamental to its strategy as its projects benefit communities and operate in markets with strict audits.
He also emphasized that he is committed to strict rules on due process for carbon projects and will follow through on whatever governments agree on at COP28.
“Reader. Infuriatingly humble travel enthusiast. Extreme food scholar. Writer. Communicator.”