East Africa Carbon Markets Forum ignites momentum for sustainable development

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East Africa Carbon Markets Forum ignites momentum for sustainable development
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The East Africa Carbon Markets Forum has concluded with resounding success, marking a pivotal moment in advancing sustainable development through innovative carbon market initiatives.

Organised by carbon removal project developer 1MTN, Next Media and other partners, the two-day forum brought together different stakeholders, including government officials, industry leaders, innovators, financiers, and investors, who explored strategies for accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy in East Africa.

The event was convened under the theme of "Unlocking Opportunities for Sustainable Development," and this led to the announcement of the Uganda Carbon Markets Association.

In her remarks, the State Minister of Environment, Beatrice Atim Anywar, emphasized that the drafting of regulations to guide participation in Article 6 is in its final stages and will soon be endorsed by the Ministry.

She identified gaps in financial and technical capacity and called for accelerated integration of Article 6 plans with NDC objectives and support for regional pilot projects and studies.

Throughout the 2-day event, participants exchanged insights and best practices on a wide range of topics, including regulation, impact investing, carbon finance, renewable energy, and nature-based solutions.

The forum also featured innovative case studies and practical workshops.

Aside gaining valuable knowledge, attendees also shared their enthusiasm for the opportunities presented and the collaborative spirit that permeated the event.

Brian Isabirye, the Commissioner of Renewable Energy, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development highlighted that Uganda’s NDC aims to reduce emissions by 18.8 percent by 2030 through various energy and transport initiatives

“Uganda's energy mix is largely renewable, presenting opportunities for carbon trading and investment in solar, geothermal, and hydropower projects,” Isabirye said.

"The Ministry seeks partnerships with investors to leverage carbon market mechanisms for digitalization, technology resilience, and sustainable development."

It should be noted that government recently enacted the National Climate Change Act, establishing institutions and regulations to guide climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Commissioner Climate Change Margaret Athieno Mwebesa, Ministry of Water and Environment noted that “Uganda's potential to benefit from carbon trading due to its natural capital wealth and outlined efforts to explore innovative financing mechanisms, including carbon markets are immense”

The chief convener, Anete Garoza, Chief Climate Officer at 1MTN said, “It was truly fantastic, as an organizer, to witness international and local experts sharing valuable insights and experiences, listening to each other, and learning,” Garoza said.

“Moreover, with 300 guests deeply invested in and understanding the potential of carbon markets to drive global efforts against climate change, the event turned into a networking haven, fostering deals and forging new partnerships," she said.

"Reflecting on the outcomes of this event, the best course of action, as organizers, is to make it an annual tradition."

As the forum concluded, participants departed with renewed energy and commitment to advancing sustainable development in East Africa.

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