Gabon has submitted its climate target to the UN, pledging to keep 2025 emissions at least 50% below BAU levels primarily through a land management programme, but also by setting up a domestic carbon offset market.
Gabon became the first African nation to submit its INDC, well ahead of nations such as Australia, Canada and Japan.
Its pledge was to keep 2025 emissions at least 50% below an “uncontrolled development scenario” level, but the INDC included projections showing Gabon expects emissions in 2025 to be around 70 million tonnes – 68% below BAU. That would be around double of 2012 levels, according to EU data.
Land management programmes would achieve most of the cuts, but there are also policies in place or on the way to reduce flaring from the oil and gas sector, boost energy efficiency and increase hydro power production.
The plan said Gabon also intends to set up a national market for carbon offsets, which will contribute to funding its climate policies.
Under the market, new projects would have to assess their environmental impacts, and those that performed better than the pre-assessment would earn carbon credits, the plan said, but offered no further details.
“I deeply appreciate Gabon’s initiative and welcome this first INDC from an African nation,” Christiana Figueres, the UN climate chief, said in a statement.