"In New Scramble for Africa, an Arab Sheikh Is Taking the Lead"

"A company established by a Dubai sheikh is finalizing agreements with African nations to manage vast tracts of their forests and sell the carbon credits. Critics are concerned the deals will not benefit Africans and will just help foreign governments perpetuate high emissions."

"A prominent sheikh in the oil-rich Gulf state hosting this year’s UN climate negotiations, COP28, is heading a new rush to capture and sell carbon credits by managing tens of millions of acres of forests across Africa. Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, a member of the royal family of Dubai, which is part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), wants to sell those credits to rich governments in the Gulf and elsewhere, so they can offset their carbon emissions to help them meet their carbon pledges under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The deals on offer could in theory be a boon to forest conservation across Africa. But the rules for the trades that the Sheikh Ahmed envisages have yet to be set. And there is growing concern that the potential carbon gains may prove bogus, undermining the Paris Agreement.

“There is a scramble for Africa’s forest carbon,” says Saskia Ozinga, co-founder of Fern, a European environmental justice NGO. “But these deals risk defrauding the countries, the forest communities, and the climate, and appear to be negotiated by African governments who don’t understand carbon markets or are personally benefitting from the deals.” "

Fred Pearce reports for Yale Environment 360 August 29, 2023.

Source: YaleE360, 08/31/2023