Climate and Development Journal
Nicolas Kreibicha*, Lukas Hermwillea, Carsten Warneckeb and Christof Arensa
Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Research Group Energy, Transport and Climate Policy, Wuppertal, Germany;
NewClimate – Institute for Climate Policy and Global Sustainability, Cologne, Germany
(Received 28 November 2014; accepted 29 September 2015)
Africa and in particular African Least Developed Countries have to a large extent been neglected by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). This article reviews the mechanism’s performance in the region and highlights current developments.
The analysis is based on a quantitative breakdown of data provided by the United Nations Environment Programme and Technical University of Denmark (UNEP/DTU) CDM Pipeline and was complemented by interviews with selected investors. The findings indicate that despite the various support measures for underrepresented regions, the overall share
of African CDM activities continues to be low. The significant rise in the share of Programmes of Activities of recent years cannot make up for the continuing low numbers of African stand-alone projects. Further, the collapse of the compliance market has proved fatal in terms of timing: ongoing efforts to support the development of a genuine African
carbon market were suffocated by the lack of demand for Certified Emission Reductions at a moment when capacity building had started to bear fruit. Consequently, instead of being a mitigation tool with significant scale, the future role of the CDM in Africa might be limited to the voluntary market, while at the same time serving as a tool to foster sustainable
development, with mitigation benefits.
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