The carbon offset market is valued at $2 billion and involves companies purchasing credits from projects that reduce emissions, such as renewable energy or reforestation, to contribute to carbon neutrality.
Carbon offsetting projects are facing challenges such as its verification and the quantification of positive impacts on local communities. Therefore, the Zimbabwe government has taken a step forward to improve carbon offsetting project mechanisms.
The new regulation in Zimbabwe
The new regulation in Zimbabwe requires the registration of all carbon projects with authorities: 50% of the revenue from carbon projects will be received by the government, while foreign investors are restricted to 30%, and the remaining 20% will be allocated to local communities. The goal is to guarantee that carbon offset projects benefit local communities and avoid greenwashing, which involves making deceptive claims about a product or service's environmental advantages.
A solar power plant in East Africa.
A new carbon trading system
The Victoria Falls Stock Exchange in Zimbabwe plans to set up carbon credit trading by September to capitalize on the changes in the carbon offset sector. The goal is to motivate African companies to buy credits from offsetting projects like renewable energy or tree planting, to contribute to carbon neutrality. The organizers of the Africa Voluntary Carbon Markets Forum released a pamphlet stating that Zimbabwe intends to register offset-producing projects on a carbon registry at the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange, which uses dollars. The conference is supported by the state and it will be held in Victoria Falls from July 3-9.
Other initiatives from neighboring African countries
Many African countries are planning to increase their presence in the voluntary carbon markets: the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI) has been launched with the aim of scaling voluntary carbon markets across Africa. This initiative has the potential to unlock billions in climate finance to support economies while expanding energy access, creating jobs, safeguarding biodiversity, and driving climate action towards the Paris goals.
To conclude, many countries located in different regions of the world are launching initiatives in order to improve carbon offsetting processes. To address these concerns, it is essential to establish robust standards and verification processes for carbon offset projects, ensure transparency and accountability, and focus on emission reductions at their source as the primary means of combating climate change.