World Bank-Low-carbon Energy Projects for Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

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"Amid rising oil prices and the adverse effects of global climate change, Sub-Saharan Africa has an unprecedented opportunity: choosing a cleaner development pathway via low-carbon energy alternatives that can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and, at the same time, meet current suppressed energy demand and future needs more efficiently and affordably. Indeed, countries across the region stand to benefit from an increasing array of financial instruments—from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Carbon Finance (CF) products to the newly created Climate Investment Funds (CIF)—with which to develop clean and efficient energy. These and other innovative instruments can help to channel the additional funds needed for investing in new and existing generation assets to increase energy services via efficiency improvements or by turning net energy consumers into net producers in return for avoidance of future GHG emissions. Using such instruments, global efforts to combat climate change can provide the region’s countries energy solutions for sustainable socioeconomic development. While opportunities for such sustainable solutions are considerable in theory, to date, Sub-Saharan Africa has missed out. In the context of the CDM, for example, the region’s current share in the project pipeline is only 1.4 percent—only 53 out of 3,902 projects—or nine times smaller than its global share in GHG emissions.1 Thus, despite its comparatively small economies, the region’s number of CDM projects should be larger."

Outcomes, Lessons Learned and Good Practices


  1.  "Low-carbon Energy Projects for Development in Sub-Saharan Africa"