Firms suffer as carbon credit market collapses


KENYA: A number of firms especially those in energy consuming activities such as cement manufacturing, sugar production, tea farming and electricity generation are sitting on huge but worthless carbon credits.

This is after the price on the global credit market collapsed more than a year ago, leaving them with worthless projects.

“We have firms that had set up fully fledged operations in energy-saving projects but have earned little or no carbon credits when the market in Europe collapsed,” said Job Kihumba, chairman of the African Carbon Exchange (ACE).

When the Kyoto Protocol came to an end in December 2012, the global carbon credit collapsed with prices falling from 18 Euros per carbon credit to less than one Euro. A new protocol that follows Kyoto is expected to be signed in 2015.

At the moment, only a few players participate in the global carbon credit market and pay a few dollars to frustrated sellers, especially firms from the less developed countries.

“In theory, there is a lot of climate finance but in reality this market has virtually collapsed. Our focus now is encouraging and promoting low-carbon initiatives,” said Kihumba.

No surprise

It therefore comes as no surprise that although there are ‘huge lines’ of credit for renewable energy projects and climate finance, uptake of these