How Africa Can Unlock World’s Most Promising Net-Zero Solution

At this critical hour in the fight against climate change, the world is squandering a significant opportunity by neglecting Earth’s most important natural carbon repositories – Africa’s forests, grasslands, peatlands and mangroves. The global carbon markets offer a pragmatic way to change this course for the better, with scope to attract meaningful and much-needed finance for conservation, energy transition and climate resilience. Yet, as things stand, carbon markets are failing to deliver. Worse, they risk enabling polluting countries and industries to ignore the burden of their ‘pollution per capita' responsibilities and justify backsliding on urgent emission reductions. Such an outcome would represent a calamitous double blow for Africa, already on the frontline of global warming’s impact, by worsening the climate emergency and cheapening the value of our land and forests through inadequately priced carbon offsets. We must guard against complicit arrangements that undervalue our natural assets while enabling the industrialised world to keep on polluting, with Africa suffering the biggest costs from global warming.

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