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Malawi, Switzerland sign carbon trading pact

By Nellie Kapatuka

Deal done- Mkaka seems to say

Sharm el-Sheikh, Mana: The government of Malawi through the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change has on Wednesday signed a bilateral agreement with Swiss government on the Internationally Transferable Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs) to facilitate the transaction of carbon credits between the two countries.

Carbon credits and carbon markets are component of national and international attempts to mitigate the growth in concentration of greenhouse gases.

Speaking during the signing ceremony that took place at the ongoing COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh Egypt, Malawi’s minister of Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change, Elsenhower Mkaka, said Malawi is keen to explore opportunities in carbon trading mechanisms to ensure attainment of its development agenda in relation to climate change as stipulated in Malawi 2063 and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) which are some of the policy frameworks for climate change management and sustainable development.

He said the agreement ensures that the transaction of the ITMOs promotes sustainable development and ensure environmental integrity and transparency as well as take into consideration future decisions of the Conference of the Parties as we aim to win the global battle of reducing carbon emissions to 1.5 Degrees.

“This is an important step that will assist us to address the climate emergency that has befallen us all. Article 6 of the Paris agreement does provide for bilateral arrangements between governments for carbon trading hence this agreement with our Swiss counterparts where a broader framework which we will work under have been provided that will see Malawi benefiting through a number of different projects in a quest to mitigating the effects of climate change,” said Mkaka.

He said his ministry will see to it that meaningful benefit from carbon trading through large and impactful projects in line with the conditional actions that are outlined in our NDCs are realized under the framework adding that proper mechanisms for monitoring, reporting and verification of the transactions will be put in place to ensure that they are in line with the article 6.2 decision from the Conference of the Parties.

In an interview, Swiss Ambassador for the Environment, Franz Xaver Perrez, said the agreement is a win situation for both countries as they get to greatly benefit through the global goal to reduce gas emissions as well as sustainable development through projects that will be initiated in M

“Each country has to reduce its emissions as much as possible domestically and because we are not able to reduce as much carbon emissions as we can ourselves, we are going into carbon trading with Malawi to contribute to the global goal on climate change as well as help Malawi implement substantial climate change projects that it would not be able to on its own,” Perrez said.

However, the two ministers could not indulge the specific details of the agreement which they said is open ended.

Commenting on the development, chairperson of the parliamentary committee on climate change, Werani Chirenga, said this is a step in the right direction towards mitigation of effects of climate change in the country.

He said the country has necessary guidelines to facilitate implementation of the agreement further pledging support of the Malawi parliament in ensuring that such agreements are really beneficial for the country.

“It should begin with us to see to it that climate change funds are being well utilized, we need to be serious and stop the heavy dependency on donors. We have carbon tax funds meant for climate change activities going into account number one contrary to the country’s aspirations, this should not be the case with this agreement,” he said.

The agreement follows president Chakwera’s recent announcement to double the country’s carbon credits generation for monetary benefits to ensure good distribution of social protection services for the betterment of people’s livelihoods. 

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