AfDB 2009 Annual Meetings will be Carbon Friendly-Bank Procures Carbon Credit Covering 1200 Participants

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Tunis, le 29 April 2009 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has officially made this year’s Annual Meetings Carbon friendly, following the acquisition of carbon credits worth € 85,400 to offset CO2 emissions due to the meetings scheduled to take place from 13-14 May in Dakar, Senegal.

“With great pleasure I would like to inform you that our Annual meetings for this year are officially carbon neutral,” Vice President Zeinab El-Bakri announced in Tunis on Wednesday, noting that the Dakar meeting has been certified carbon neutral and designated “AfDB Climate Friendly Conference” by Atmosfair, a leading NGO that has been pioneering the process of carbon offsets.

Mrs. El-Bakri said the amount paid to acquire the carbon neutral 2009 annual meetings was based on estimates of past experiences. Some 1,200 people from various parts of Africa and the world will be travel to the meetings.

“Having purchased these carbon credits, we have been issued the attached official certificate.  With that, we can now claim that our meeting is carbon neutral and hence, a climate friendly event,” she added.  

Annual Meetings CO2 emissions are related to flights, local transport, paper and energy consumption both at the meeting venue and hotels, among others, which cannot be avoided but must be offset.

The amounts NGO’s generate by selling reduction certificates in the voluntary market are utilized to implement CO2 reduction projects within developing countries.

Carbon Trading is a market based mechanism for helping mitigate the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. The transaction was born out of the Kyoto protocol on climate change in 1997. It is now considered to be the most complex commodity market in the world. Some US$ 90 billion were traded on the world market in 2007. If adopted worldwide, future transactions will dwarf this figure.

Meanwhile, the Bank Group has joined the global call for efficient management of the threats posed by climate change by producing a strategy to address climate risks to sustained economic growth in Africa, and promote political stability in the world. The Bank Group’s Boards of Directors approved the Climate Risk Management and Adaptation Strategy (CRMA) on April 29, 2009 in Tunis, paving the way for its implementation.

The strategy is informed by the underlying notion that the African continent is the most vulnerable to climate change and climate variability, a situation compounded by low adaptive capacity. It is also based on expert projections that all sub-regions of Africa will experience a temperature rise likely to be larger than the average in other parts of the world. Most parts of Africa are also expected to experience reduced average annual rainfall and increased aridity and droughts. This should result in net drying and increased aridity over a greater proportion of the continent.

Through regional stakeholder consultation forums and recommendations of the Bank President’s Working Group on Climate Change, the CRMA seeks to ensure progress towards the eradication of poverty and contribute to sustainable improvement in people’s livelihoods in the Bank’s Regional Member Countries.