[KAMPALA] Uganda is set to become a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Hub over the next three years, with financial assistance from Belgium.
The Belgian Development Agency is investing US$2.6 million in the scheme, which will be overseen by the designated national authority — the Climate Change Unit (CCU) at the Ugandan Ministry of Water and Environment.
Private companies can register to receive training in monitoring, validation, verification and how to negotiate carbon credit transactions under the CDM. These will be registered with the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat through the CCU.
Companies with the potential to earn carbon credits include many in the domestic sector: cooking stoves, domestic biogas and green charcoal — a household fuel produced from agricultural waste.
Other sectors with the potential to benefit include those involved in small-scale hydroelectricity, landfill gas, photovoltaics, solar-powered LED lighting, solar water heaters and water purification,as well as industrial activities in the sectors of cement, biodiesel, sugar and wastewater.
Traineeships will open for applications on 1 April 2012. Associates of the scheme will offer training in CDM basics, investment analysis and the mechanism's legal aspects, according to Adriaan Tas, managing director of Carbon Africa Limited and an advisor to the project.
Ten projects are currently registered with the CDM, and the newly established Hub will work with them to help them sell Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs). These include Africa's largest CDM renewable energy project, the Bujagali hydropower project, which is hosted by Uganda. More projects will be taken on by the Hub in the future.
"A lot of projects get stuck without financing. They only remain at the registration level. The CDM enables us to support such projects through [to] trading and capacity building," he said.
"We need to push this market so that it matures," he said, adding that the programme has added benefits, including increased economic activity, job creation and technology transfer.
Bob Natifu, the CCU's communications officer, said: "These projects not only modernise eligible sectors, but also contribute to global climate protection."
Michael Zkalubo, meteorology commissioner at Uganda's Water and Environment Ministry, said: "Capacity building will help us benefit from adaptation and mitigation."
The Hub Scheme will be implemented by the CCU, working closely with international consultants from Camco International Limited and Carbon Africa Limited.