Local companies urged to collaborate for carbon trading opportunities

Local companies within the clean cooking energy value chain are being encouraged to collaborate and invest in forestry to capitalize on the expanding global carbon trading market in Tanzania. Carbon trading, also referred to as carbon emissions trading, involves the exchange of credits enabling emitting entities to offset a specified amount of carbon dioxide emissions.

To actively participate in this market, local companies are urged to establish joint ventures and channel investments into forestry initiatives. By aligning with sustainable forestry practices, these companies can generate carbon credits, thereby contributing to both environmental conservation and financial gains. This strategy not only promotes the adoption of cleaner energy solutions but also fosters economic growth through carbon trading opportunities.

In a high-level policy dialogue held in Dar es Salaam yesterday, stakeholders in the value chain underscored the importance of increasing public awareness and encouraging more people to engage in the carbon trade which has some positive impacts on the environment, health and economy.

Themed ‘Clean Cooking and Carbon Finance’, the dialogue organised by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) through the European Union (EU)-funded CookFund Programme.

Speaking during the session, Dr Paulo Lyimo, a biodiversity conservationist at the National Carbon Monitoring Centre (NCMC) said it was time for Tanzanians to explore and tap opportunities in carbon trade as the country has been blessed with vast forests.

He said that reducing greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide is a key element in the fight against climate change.

Dr Lyimo said the government has put in place a conducive environment, including policies and regulations to help companies chip in and help reduce emissions through carbon trading.

“By trading carbon credits, we have the potential to foster innovative solutions, encourage technological advancements and protect our planet for future generations,” he said.

He urged those who are in the trade already to ensure that they engage local communities by participating in participatory processes and receive tangible benefits, ranging from shared revenue to enhanced livelihoods.

Styden Rwebangira, assistant commissioner of electricity and renewable energy in the Ministry of Energy, highlighted the importance of increasing awareness among stakeholders as many of them lack adequate technical know-how on the trade.

“I am grateful to see cooperation between the Ministry of Energy and CookFund through UNCDF and the EU facilitating carbon testing facilities to ease challenges with approval and certification,” he said.

He said producing and selling carbon offsets is finally becoming a lucrative business in Tanzania and the government has continued to attract companies.

He noted that the revenue generated from carbon credit sales typically translates into community investments such as upgrading critical infrastructure, expanding educational opportunities for youth, creating economically sustainable jobs and offering training and capacity building initiatives.

Lois Kassana, policy analyst at the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), said with over 50 percent of the land covered with forests, Tanzania has a unique opportunity to capitalize on the rich natural resources.

“We need to embrace renewable energy solutions and implement environmentally friendly projects that will attract investment, create jobs and contribute to our economic growth,” she said.

CookFund programme manager Imanuel Muro said the dialogue aimed at discussing ways to create an enabling environment for companies and enterprises in the clean cooking value chain to viably participate in carbon trading.

“The dialogue marked the start of a series of planned discussions aimed at addressing policy challenges hindering adoption of sustainable cooking solutions in Tanzania,” he said.

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