Story by Tichaona Kurewa
THE first edition of the African Voluntary Carbon Credit Market Forum is underway in Victoria Falls, amid revelations that carbon credits will soon be traded on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange for enhanced benefits.
The VFEX was established in 2020 as an offshore financial hub and is attracting listings from various sectors of the economy including mining, agriculture, and the financial sector.
Speaking on the sidelines of the inaugural summit this Thursday, AVCCMF chief executive officer, Mr Benjamin Chimutengo said discussions with regulators are underway.
“We are setting up an exchange platform, we are in deep discussion with the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. We believe it is going to be a short time to market. It is going to bring liquidity to those who want to do energy transition or climate transition as you can see that most African countries are struggling to access adaptation fund and climate fund.
“Look at what is at IDBZ, they are just pledges. They are sitting at US$45 million but zero funds have been withdrawn, but as CEOs pledge towards climate action, the stock exchange can give them liquidity so that we raise our own capital as we invest in this climate action,” he said.
Trading of carbon credits on the VFEX is expected to create more value for Africa.
“The advantage of this is price discovery because most of the time it’s really difficult to tell what is the real value. So, when the stock exchange really gives the impetus to the market forces, if someone is selling one credit the market then gives that price discovery to make sure that you are not paid US$0.20 when something can be sold at US$200 somewhere. So this gives us our independence that gives us accountability, that gives us transparency and the best possible prices that we can get,” he added.
AVCCMF Community Stakeholder Liaison, Reverend Anglistone Sibanda highlighted the objectives of the forum being attended by representatives of industry and commerce, civic society, government, and community leaders.
“We seek ways to save Africa from adverse effects of climate change and enhance efforts for the continent to benefit from its green economy,” he said.
The global market for carbon offsets is worth about US$2 billion and projected to grow to as much as US$1 trillion in 15 years’ time.