Challenges and Opportunities for Carbon Pricing in Africa: Transitioning from Crediting to Compliance Markets

Challenges and Opportunities for Carbon Pricing in Africa: Transitioning from Crediting to Compliance Markets

The ICAP Africa workshop took place from the 22nd to the 24th of February 2022. For future editions and upcoming events, register your interest here.

From 22 to 24 February, the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) convened the first ICAP workshop specifically focused on the state of play and prospects for carbon markets and carbon pricing in African countries. Participation in the workshop was open to anyone with an interest in, or professional link to, climate policy and carbon market development in African countries. The target audience of the workshop is policymakers, carbon market professionals and other stakeholders.

There has been clear progress in the development of emission trading regimes in different parts of the world. Africa, however, is still an exception on the emissions trading map. Nevertheless, in recent years, interest in carbon pricing approaches to climate policy has grown across Africa. Some countries have begun to implement or explore the implementation of carbon taxes and there is a growing community of practitioners and stakeholders interested overall in cost-effective, market-based approaches to climate policy.

The ICAP workshop was centred around the feasibility and adequacy of a roadmap towards the development of emissions trading systems (ETS) in Africa, in particular exploring it from three different angles:

  • State of Play and Challenges: The workshop kicks off by taking stock of the challenges that African governments and civil society face when considering the establishment of carbon pricing policies. The session examined the extent to which these policies have been explored, and how existing ETS designs can be adapted to meet the continent’s needs.
  • Building a Market: The next session provided suggestions on how to advance carbon markets in Africa, by looking into the wider climate policy and its development co-benefits from countries setting their own demand for carbon assets. The voluntary carbon market based on corporate commitments is explored as a potential source of demand in Africa, with the aim to avoid a repeat of the underperforming Clean Development Mechanism's experience.
  • Moving forward: The final session delved into some potential no-regret steps that can be taken immediately or in the near-future to enhance readiness for emissions trading in Africa, and whether emissions trading should be deemed feasible in this context. This session discusses the systems that would be required, the roles of piloting and simulation, as well as the potential for South-South cooperation to show the way forward.


Workshop Content

The workshop consists of presentation and group work sessions over three days, following the overall structure below:

Table on Africa Workshop Strucutre


The ICAP workshops are implemented by the Ecologic Institute, Get2C and ICF on behalf of ICAP, the International Carbon Action Partnership. It is made possible through the generous support of the European Commission.





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