AfDB Launches African Carbon Support Program

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched a two-year technical assistance program - the African Carbon Support Program, which is being implemented by its Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department. The program, launched on 4 November 2010, is geared toward assisting Bank clients in regional member countries to access carbon finance in order to ensure the commercial viability of their investments.

Essentially, the program involves a screening process whereby the carbon finance potential of investment proposals received by the Bank is identified and assessed. At the same time, capacity building activities will be undertaken for host country government agencies – the Designated National Authorities (DNAs) in particular, where such carbon- finance eligible projects are going to be developed.

The program will also seek to highlight research findings in the area of climate change vulnerability and adaptation options. On the issue of functional capacity of country DNAs, the approach for the program is to provide a perfect opportunity for “learning by doing” for the DNA staff. This will work towards ensuring that the DNAs in those countries where identified potential Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects are operational and can successfully process the request for host country approval. The capacity building program will highlight the policy and operational implications of outcomes from current and emerging discussions on global carbon finance frameworks.

Other key objectives of the program:

* To assist in the development of appropriate project preparation documentations including Project Information Notes (PIN) and Project Design Documents (PDD) which are requirements under the Clean Development Mechanism. This support would help to lower the transactional costs faced by project developers in realizing carbon credits for their projects.
* To support the development of regional grid emission factor(s). This has been a crucial element for projects in the power sector and will allow projects in countries with low emission factors to benefit from the fact that their project will feed into wider regional grids which have cumulative high emission factors.
* To support project owners to successfully commercialize the carbon potential of projects. This will ensure that the project owners are in a position to determine the optimum proposal for purchase of their project’s carbon credits. Equally important, this component will also aim to ensure that the project owners can successfully monitor and report the emission reductions resulting from their respective CDM projects.

The Africa Carbon Support Program has benefited from a grant of US$ 1 million from the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) which was established by the African Development Bank in partnership with the Japanese government. The fund will be scaled up in time.

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