Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Zambian Government Urged to Extensively Engage on Carbon Market Legislation by Centre for Trade Policy and Development

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The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) is urging the Zambian government to extensively engage with relevant stakeholders in the process of developing legislation on carbon market. This comes after the signing of the 450 million Euros Forest partnership between the European Union (EU) and Zambia, as well as four other countries, at the COP27 to the Paris agreement in Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt).

According to a statement released by Mr Solomon Mwampikita, Researcher- Climate Change and Environment, the agreement to finalize the rules on international carbon markets and some countries announced greater action on forests, methane, and climate finance were among the significant outcomes achieved at the COP26. The Zambian Minister of Finance in his 2023 national budget speech further stated that the government has developed guidelines and listing rules for green bond trading, and is in the process of developing legislation to regulate the carbon market in line with the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

The signed forest partnership will not only sustain forests, biodiversity, and livelihoods at the local level, but also serve as another means of resources mobilization in the carbon markets. Carbon trading and green bonds have been identified as among the key sources of resource mobilization for developing countries under the climate crisis, and Zambia is no exception.

The growth and acceleration of the carbon markets over the years, offers a good opportunity for countries adversely affected by climate change, especially developing countries to raise the much-needed resources for building resilience, and tackling inequality and poverty at large. The State and Trends of Carbon Pricing Report for 2022 by World Bank states that global carbon trade revenue in 2021 increased by almost 60% from 2020 levels, to around $84 billion, providing an important source of funds to help support a sustainable economic recovery, finance broader fiscal reforms, or invest in communities as part of the low-carbon transition future.

However, the effects of climate change have adversely affected the socio-economic strides attained this far, and have amplified the already existing challenges, locking the poor and vulnerable communities into more poverty. This has forced communities to overexploit natural resources through acts such as cutting trees for charcoal production and firewood to sustain their wellbeing resulting into deforestation, further increasing their vulnerability to climate change aberrations.

In 2022, the Earth.Org cited Zambia as the most impacted African country by charcoal production, and with the highest deforestation rates in the world with a yearly loss of about 300,000 hectares of forested land. Thus, while efforts to develop legislation to regulate the carbon market for resources mobilization is commendable, this should not be at the expense of the poor and vulnerable communities that depend on natural resources more so forest products for sustaining their livelihoods.

As such, CTPD is urging government to develop legislation that will not sideline communities that depend on natural resources such as forest products for their survival by widely engaging and consulting the relevant stakeholders. Additionally, government should improve the coordination of climate and financial policies across ministries and agencies. Experience indicates that programs or projects for carbon emissions capturing, or reduction tend to restrict or limit local communities’ access to natural resources that have defined their livelihoods over generations.

The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) is a not-for-profit, membership-based trade policy and development think tank. The organization was established in 1999 and existed as the Civil Society Trade Network (CSTNZ), until 2009 when it was rebranded as the Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD). The mandate of CTPD is to influence pro-poor trade and investment reforms at national, regional and multilateral levels as well as facilitate the participation of various stakeholders including member organizations in ensuring that trade is used as a tool for poverty eradication.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Useless organizations…no wonder we will remain poor…lying to ourselves with nonsensical organizations blah blah blah talking about things that won’t Zambians in any way whatsoever…..

  2. 450Million ,will just go on talks and paper works.Climate crisis will continue hunting us .worse this climate crisis was not caused by us.

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