As Africa works to assert itself on the carbon offset trading map, South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma announced plans to introduce 2 million Russian carbon credits to the stock exchange market, a deal made with the help of Belarussian intermediaries.
The ex-president used his speech on July 7th at the inaugural Africa Voluntary Carbon Credits Market Forum to share the plans of the Belarus African Foreign Trade Association (BAFTA).
The controversial origin of the credits might discourage investors from purchasing, as Zimbabwe maintains strong connections with both Russia and Belarus, while all three countries are subjected to certain restrictions imposed by the US, UK, and European Union.
The deal includes offset credits from former Soviet Union territories generated in the period between 2008 and 2012 within a United Nations carbon market set up under the Kyoto Protocol.
One credit unit embodies a ton of carbon dioxide or its equivalent removed from the atmosphere or prevented from entering it.
Authorities from the National Agency of Investment and Privatisation in Belarus have clarified that the credits originate from a forestry program in Siberia.
Jacob Zuma, who has been imprisoned in the past for his refusal to provide testimony before a judicial committee investigating corruption in the government and has denied any wrongdoing, is currently on trial for corruption related to gun trading deals.
During his presidential mandate, the climate community condemned Zuma for his decision to bring to a standstill a successful renewable energy program and instead focus on developing a nuclear power plant in collaboration with Russian companies.
On behalf of The Victoria Falls Securities Exchange, CEO Justin Bgoni commented that its primary interests are Africa-generated offset credits. All concerned parties are scheduled to discuss the matter further in the coming days.