First-ever carbon credit transaction recorded in West Africa

17 Jun 2015, 12:00 am


"Similar CO2 offset transactions are under negotiation with African hotel chains, carriers and agribusinesses," said Fabrice Le Sache, CEO of ecosur afrique.

Fabrice Le Sache, CEO, ecosur afrique

Leading carbon finance group in Africa, Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P), has announced the first-ever carbon credits transaction involving a Seller and a Buyer from West Africa. The transaction – which is between I&P and Volta cars Rental Services (VRS), a car leasing company operating in West Africa – was structured by ecosur afrique. Under the transaction, VRS customers can offset the carbon emissions of its vehicles leased in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.

Among other things, Thomas Crand, co-founder of VRS, stated that, "We developed a strong environmental strategy; CO2 emissions are at the heart of our concerns and we are pleased to offer our customers the option to offset their carbon footprint. Today’s transaction is pioneering and a unique choice, which distinguishes us on the West African market.”

VRS will aggregate the offset demand of customers taking part in the "carbon neutral" programme each quarter and for its entire fleet. The carbon credit purchases will be made by the same periodicity.

The carbon credits, or emission reductions, which are at base of the offset transaction, are generated from the distribution of energy efficient cook stoves in Côte d’Ivoire. The cook stoves are distributed as part of the "Soutra Fourneau" programme financed and operated by ecosur afrique. They reduce charcoal consumption of small entrepreneurial users such as restaurants or canteens. The use of charcoal and firewood for cooking purposes remains a major source of CO2 emissions and deforestation in West Africa. Beyond the environmental aspect, the benefits are numerous: redistribution of purchasing power to consumers, decrease of noxious fumes, and reduction of meal preparation time by half.

As an impact investment fund dedicated to small and medium size enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa and, I&P played a major role in the operation. The fund began by offsetting its own CO2 emissions in an exemplary manner and then proposed this solution to some companies in its portfolio. Its CEO, Jean-Michel Severino, said: "I&P shows, once again, its commitment to pioneering entrepreneurial ideas, both to strengthen the business model of its holdings, to offer them distinctive solutions in their market and to assist them in environmental and social performance, a pre-condition of economic sustainability."

In explaining the backdrop of this pioneering transaction, CEO of ecosur afrique, Fabrice Le Sache, said: "The exchange of carbon credits involves traditionally their transfer from developing countries to industrialized countries. We are convinced that the future of the market lies in part in the development of South-South transactions, particularly within Africa.” Le Sache maintained that the company has been working for several years on its carbon credit programme in order to create sufficient liquidity and allow the emergence of such a market.

“With over 40 projects in 17 countries, we now have the largest portfolio of African carbon credits in terms of volume and diversity. We must now increase and expand the demand. Similar CO2 offset transactions are under negotiation with African hotel chains, carriers and agribusinesses," said the CEO of ecosure afrique.


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