Green energy on rise across Africa but still lags behind other regions – UN

17 November 2009 – More green energy and climate-friendly projects target Africa than ever before, but the numbers still lag behind Asia and Latin America, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced today.

The projects, from renewable energies to tree planting, are part of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol – the global emissions reduction treaty. They allow developed countries to reduce emissions and meet global warming commitments by investing in carbon reduction projects in developing countries.

A total of 112 CDM Africa projects, worth a total of Euros 212 million a year, are at “validation, requesting registration or registered,” UNEP said, noting that this is up from 78 projects in 2008 and just two in 2004.

Around 80 per cent of the projects are in sub-Saharan Africa, with 28 projects underway or planned in South Africa, followed by 14 in Kenya. In North Africa, Egypt has 13 projects, followed by Morocco with 10.

The projects include two large solar water heating projects in South Africa, the promotion of energy efficient light bulbs in rural Senegal and a municipal waste-composting project in Uganda.

Experts say the latest figures underline the importance of Africa’s Governments pressing for reform in the weeks before the UN Climate Change Convention meeting in Copenhagen from 7 to 18 December.

At the same time, they noted that while the figures are cause for optimism, they also underline how few projects are currently flowing into Africa when compared with several other parts of the world.

Globally, there are over 4,730 CDM projects operating or close to approval. The lion’s share is in Asia and the Pacific with a total of just over 3,700 projects, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean with close to 820.

These issues will be part of the agenda at the Green Electricity Conference organized by UNEP, the Kenyan Government and the French development agency AFD in Nairobi on 23 and 24 November.

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