Gold Standard, a nonprofit which verifies carbon offsets, has decided to temporarily pause the issuance of carbon credits from Zimbabwe-based projects, after earlier this year the country’s government announced plans to take half of the revenue generated from these transactions, Bloomberg reported, citing an email from Gold Standard.
The decision is with immediate effect, a spokesperson for Gold Standard, which has verified about 20 carbon offset projects in Zimbabwe, said in the email.
According to Bloomberg, the measure may serve as a warning to other African nations that are considering similar moves, for example Malawi and Zambia, and that would further disturb the US$2 billion carbon credits market.
However, Verra, which is the world’s biggest verifier of carbon offsets, has decided to resume registration of projects and issuance of credits from projects in Zimbabwe after initially halting those processes following the government’s announcement, according to an email, as cited by Bloomberg.
Zimbabwe is the third-largest issuer of carbon offsets in Africa after Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jaye Connolly-LaBelle, CEO of data collection company RippleNami Inc, was quoted as saying last week at a conference.
According to RippleNami, the southern African nation accounts for 13% of issuance on the continent and 1.7% of issuance globally.
At the same conference, Malawi’s environment minister Michael Usi told Bloomberg that his country would take part of the revenue from carbon credits, with the exact percentage yet to be determined.
As for Zambia, environment minister Collins Nzovu said in an interview that “if we got 50%, we would be very happy, those are the figures we are looking at as well.”
At the same time, a spokesperson for Gold Standard said that governments seeking stronger control should act in a way “that will enable positive investment into climate action and sustainable development.”