Mudavadi advocates for robust carbon market investments at Nairobi conference

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi Carbon Markets Conference 2024 in Nairobi on Tuesday, March 26, 2024. [Standard, File]

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has called for sustained efforts to foster an environment conducive to investment in carbon markets.

 He said there was need for Kenya to join other leading countries in addressing the climate crisis and finding lasting solutions to the impact of climate change on economies.

Speaking at the Carbon Markets Conference 2024 in Nairobi, Mudavadi highlighted Africa’s minimal contribution to global emissions but disproportionate suffering from climate change vulnerability.

“With its rich renewable energy resources, vast expanses of arable land and diverse terrestrial and marine ecosystems, Africa stands at the cusp of sustainable economic growth and green industrialization,” he said.

He pointed out that carbon markets have emerged as a pivotal financial instrument that can catalyse climate action by providing a flow of carbon finance to stimulate green growth.

He noted these markets incentivise the reduction and removal of emissions, thus encouraging countries and corporations across the globe to invest in cleaner, more sustainable technologies while spurring innovation and technological advancements in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and conservation of forests and grasslands.

However, he expressed regret that carbon markets have faced serious scandals regarding greenwashing and community injustices.

He called for strong government and industry action on integrity to ensure equitable benefit sharing with communities and to protect them from exploitation.

 “Carbon credits being produced must be of high quality and used credibly,” he said.

Mudavadi also highlighted the amendment of Kenya’s Climate Change Act as a testament to these efforts, as it lays the legal groundwork for carbon market activities in law, protects community benefits, and promotes investor confidence.

 “From the Act we are now at the finish line with developing regulations. So, today, we are signalling to the world that Kenya is ready to turn opportunity into real carbon finance flow,” he added.

He urged African nations to use the lessons learnt from the tales of missed opportunities and shortcomings, to steer the way towards innovative, locally grown solutions that transform obstacles into drivers of climate-positive growth.

The premier further called for a deep interrogation of the cause of disparities in the carbon market and discussion of strategies for securing premium rates for Kenya’s high-quality carbon credits.