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21 March 2023 - A landmark partnership was signed today to foster the sustainable development and access to energy financing in Africa through the Voluntary Carbon Markets.
ARE Member ENGIE Energy Access — one of the leading off-grid providers in Africa, ENGIE Global Energy Management&Sales (GEMS) – the energy management and sales division of the ENGIE Group, and CarbonClear – a data-driven and innovative carbon offset certification company, will partner in a pioneer agreement to accelerate the use of climate finance by the off-grid sector in sub-Saharan Africa through issuing and selling data-driven and impactful carbon credits.
Under the terms of the agreement, CarbonClear will be using its innovative and fully digital model to certify the carbon offset generated from the solar kits distributed by ENGIE Energy Access to rural and off-grid communities living in sub-Saharan Africa.
ENGIE GEMS will then assist ENGIE Energy Access in selling these credits to climate-conscious organisations wanting to offset their greenhouse gas emissions with projects that have a high social and environmental impact. The partnership targets to issue 500.000 tCO2e of offsets.
“Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 of a universal access to energy by 2030 is largely falling behind. With this pivotal agreement, we ambition to contribute as a leader in the sector to catch-up while exploiting to its full potential the 2 billion USD Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM). Thanks to increasing traditional and, in this specific case, alternative funding means we will meet our target to impact 20 million people by 2025.” said Gillian-Alexandre Huart, CEO of ENGIE Energy Access.
“Carbon credits are an important lever to optimise the affordability of our products. We are therefore excited that the partnership with CarbonClear will enable us to mobilize additional climate finance and accelerate our growth” declared Steven Fleurus, Head of Finance at ENGIE Energy Access.
Vincent Verbeke, Excom member at ENGIE GEMS comments : “By leveraging on the efficiency and transparency of digital tools, the CarbonClear platform provides robust and transparent evidence of the environmental benefits ENGIE Energy Access brings to rural African communities and provides a unique opportunity for corporates to participate by purchasing carbon credits.”
Through an IT integration between CarbonClear and MySolGo, the last-mile distribution software used by ENGIE Energy Access to monitor its PAYG operations, Micro Carbon Avoidances (MCAs) are created, which are made available to corporate buyers wishing to compensate for their CO2 footprint. The carbon calculations applied are based on the established UN Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) methodology, and are third-party verified by DNV.
“This partnership with ENGIE Energy Access and GEMS happens at a time when a number of global initiatives are exploring ways of strengthening the integrity of the voluntary carbon market, as well as its liquidity. By scaling CarbonClear’s proven data-driven model, this partnership will provide measurable carbon finance to impactful solar off-grid deployments throughout the marginalised areas of the world where ENGIE Energy Access operates.” said Karim Jabbar, CEO and co-founder of CarbonClear.
This timely initiative responds to an emergency situation. Due to the Covid crisis and demographic evolution, the number of people living without access to electricity is now worsening, impacting 600 million people in Africa alone. Even more alarming, the Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report 2022 published by GOGLA is even anticipating that this figure will stall throughout the end of this decade, if the sector does not receive additional funding. As such, the World Energy Outlook estimates that an additional 26 billion dollars per year are required to meet SDG7.
The recently launched Africa Carbon Market Initiative (ACMI) during the COP27 highlighted the important role the Voluntary Carbon Market could and should play in addressing this situation. It builds on the observation that access to energy companies face significant difficulties to mobilise funding from the VCM due to inadequate validation and certification methodologies and particularly long lead times.