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Regional stakeholders discuss future of carbon markets and sustainable development in East Africa

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Simon Kabayo
Simon Kabayohttps://eagle.co.ug
Reporter whose work is detailed

Uganda has launched a two-day East Africa Carbon Markets Forum 2024 event under the theme, “Enhancing our win-win bilateral partnership” at Kampala Serena Hotel to enable regional stakeholders to discuss the future of carbon markets and sustainable development in East Africa.

The forum is aimed at exploring opportunities and challenges in the region’s climate finance landscape and delve into discussions on strategies and solutions for achieving net zero emissions. Additionally, innovative projects driving climate action in East Africa will be showcased, highlighting the region’s potential for sustainable growth.

Speaking at the launch, Beatrice Anywar Atim, Minister of State for water and environment said that Article 6 of the Paris Agreement provides a framework for countries to cooperate in achieving their climate goals through carbon markets and other forms of cooperation but Uganda needs to turn this framework into concrete actions.

“Uganda has made significant strides in preparing for carbon market participation. Our National Climate Change Policy, our Nationally Determined Contribution, and our National Forest Authority’s efforts to restore and maintain our forests are just a few examples of our readiness,” Anywar said.

She added, “We need collaboration, knowledge sharing, and innovative solutions to drive our progress. That is why this forum is so crucial. Over the next two days, let us engage in fruitful discussions, share our experiences, and explore opportunities for cooperation.”

Dr. Brian Isabirye, Commissioner Renewable Energy at the Ministry of Energy noted that the region faces a critical challenge in expanding clean energy access while addressing the urgent need for climate finance. The good news is that Uganda is prepared to take on this challenge.

He added that the ministry has made significant strides in creating an enabling environment for carbon markets to thrive.

HE said, “We have established a robust legal framework, including the Uganda Carbon Credit Scheme, to ensure the integrity and transparency of carbon credit transactions. This scheme is aligned with international best practices and standards, such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the Gold Standard.”

He further noted that the ministry has also made significant investments in renewable energy, with a focus on solar, hydro, and geothermal power.

“Our goal is to increase the share of renewable energy in our energy mix to 80% by 2030, in line with our Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement. We have established the Uganda National Carbon Registry, which provides a platform for carbon credit transactions and ensures the integrity of carbon credits generated in Uganda,” Isabirye noted.

In her remarks, Margaret Athieno Mwebesa, Commissioner for Climate Change, at the ministry of water and environment said that Uganda is highly vulnerable to climate change, with rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, and frequent extreme weather events. But we are not just victims of climate change; we are also part of the solution.

“Our National Climate Change Policy (2015) and the Paris Agreement have guided our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance climate resilience. We have made significant progress in renewable energy, sustainable land management, and climate-smart agriculture.” Athieno Mwebesa said.

She added that Uganda’s Green Growth Strategy (2020) aims to transform the economy into a green and inclusive one, creating jobs and opportunities for sustainable development such as promoting electric vehicles, green infrastructure, and eco-tourism.

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