The voluntary carbon market, which allows companies to offset their emissions by purchasing carbon credits, is coming under increasing scrutiny from ethical consumers and civil society groups. This market has the potential to generate significant revenues for Africa, as the continent is home to some of the world’s largest carbon sinks. However, there are concerns about the market’s integrity and controversies surrounding its operation. In July, Zimbabwe launched the Pan-African Voluntary Carbon Credit Register and Victoria Falls Stock Exchange Carbon Market. The event was intended to attract investment and assure investors of the market’s integrity, but it was marred by the appearance of controversial former South African President Jacob Zuma and doubts about the credibility of the carbon credits being listed. Zimbabwe’s sudden interest in carbon markets and its plans to regulate the industry have also raised concerns. The proposed regulations would mandate the treasury to take 50% of the revenues generated from carbon credit projects, limiting foreign investors and potentially stifling the industry. Other countries, such as Malawi, Zambia, and Kenya, have indicated their intention to pursue similar policies. These actions reflect a broader concern in Africa about the equitable distribution of benefits from the continent’s natural resources. While it is important to address these concerns, overly restrictive regulation could hamper the growth of the voluntary carbon market, which has the potential to drive capital to areas on the frontline of the climate crisis. To realize the market’s potential, all actors need to play by the same rules and work together to establish trust and integrity. The voluntary carbon market could grow to a value of $1 trillion in the next 15 years, but this will require cooperation and adherence to ethical practices.
“According to an official source, the US EPA shows no worry over the possibility of renewable diesel exceeding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandates.”
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