Five East African countries are drafting a climate bill to introduce regulations to help facilitate the flow of more climate finance cash into the region, local media reported.
Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda – the five nations that make up the intergovernmental East African Community (EAC) – are working on an agreement to better allocate resources for climate management and implement international mitigation strategies, said Jessica Eriyo, EAC Deputy Secretary General for the Production and Social Sectors, according to East African Business Week.
Speaking at the first ever East African Carbon Fair in Kampala earlier this month, Eriyo said that once the law is in place EAC member states will be able to more effectively allocate resources for climate management and allow smaller, local firms to utilise international market-based mechanisms such as the CDM.
“CDM implementation in EAC is not viable because governments and the private sector lack implementation skills. It is only the multinational companies that are getting access to CDM funds,” Eriyo said, adding that challenges currently faced by the region include inadequate information, a lack of funding and poor technical expertise.
She said that the EAC has tried to mitigate climate change by developing guiding principles such as the EAC Climate Change Policy and the East African Climate Change Master Plan, but further progress was also being hampered by an absence of harmonised regulations amongst the countries.
She estimated the legislation process including approval by the East African Legislative Assembly, the EAC’s legislative arm, would take one or two years.
Kenya is the first of the five EAC nations to submit its INDC to the UN, pledging last Friday to keep its GHG emissions at 30% below BAU levels by 2030. Kenya’s government said the target would be met through measures such as increased use of renewable energy, improved energy efficiency and tree cover expansion, while it did not rule out tapping international carbon markets.
The EAC shares a common market for goods, labour and capital, and is working towards eventually entering a monetary union with a common currency and a full political federation.
But the five countries have not been overly successful in attracting climate finance via the CDM. They are home to a combined 75 projects that have attempted to be approved under the mechanism, but only 44 have been registered out of a total of roughly 7,650 globally.
And according to UN data, those 44 projects have received just over 2 million CERs out of the 1.6 billion issued to date.
The UN and some rich governments have attempted to implement policies to increasingly funnel climate cash to Africa’s poorer nations, but tightening budgets and a lack of ambition amongst developed nations towards cutting their own GHG emissions has impeded those efforts.
As a result, CER prices have collapsed to around €0.40 from a peak above €20 in 2008, and international climate funding pledges made by rich governments so far, which are meant to help raise $100 billion annually for poor countries by 2020, have been below expectations.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org