Carbon finance can help rural Africans establish more sustainable ways of doing business, and several efforts are underway to build carbon exchanges that can help project developers identify prices and manage risk. These efforts will only generate meaningful change, however, if the rural poor understand carbon markets and how to access them. The African Carbon Credit Exchange aims to build that understanding.
Karin Sosis spent part of this past summer helping promote the use of energy-efficient stoves among farmers in the Zambian countryside. The new stoves burn about half as much wood as the old ones did, and carbon offsets paid for them.
“We installed ten stoves in one community that had been identified by local leaders, and we made several visits up there and started talking to people and ended up having a big meeting,” she says. “Maybe 35 or 50 people from the community came and told us what they thought – they wanted more stoves, and I thought it was really interesting that almost none of them had heard of climate change.”
Rural people are among those who can benefit the most from carbon finance, but they are also among those least informed about the potential benefits. It’s as true in the Indonesian state of Ache as it is in the US state of Arkansas, but nowhere is it more true than in Africa, which lags the rest of the world in the generation of carbon offsets.
Sosis works with the Africa Carbon Credit Exchange (ACCE) which aims to build capacity and a platform for Zambia to engage the carbon markets – in that order. Learn about the hows and whys of the project at Ecosystem Marketplace: Zambians Building Carbon Exchange-From the Ground Up.