ACAD is a public-private partnership spearheaded by the UN Environment Programme and its Risoe Centre. Formed in late 2009 in cooperation with Standard Bank, ACAD acts as a catalytic platform that provides seed funding and advises green entrepreneurs on how to generate carbon credits and invest in low-carbon initiatives.

ACAD has assisted more than 15 projects across Africa that will collectively save 5 million tons of CO2 emissions over 20 years. Examples of ACAD successes include the largest wind project in Sub-Saharan Africa, the first programme focused on retailing kerosene-replacing lamps in Rwanda, a programme on energy efficient clay brick production in South Africa, and a green charcoal project developed by local entrepreneurs in Mali.