The Kyoto Protocol has put a framework in place to reduce industrialized countries’ green house gas emissions through the introduction of market-based mechanisms.
One of these market-based mechanisms, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), gives emission-reduction projects in developing countries certified emission reduction (CER) credits for each tonne of CO2 they reduce or absorb. CERs can be bought by industrialized countries to compensate for their emissions. The sale of CERs can be a significant source of revenue for Sub-Saharan African countries. But first, for a project to be considered as a CDM project, it must be approved by the Designated National Authority (DNA).
The designation of a national authority for the CDM in a country is a requirement for its participation in the mechanism. The main task of the DNA is to assess potential CDM projects to determine whether they will help the country in reaching its sustainable development goals. Since the DNA’s focal point is on the approval process for potential CDM projects, it is crucial that they are constantly informed and updated on climate change issues. African countries have the most potential to reduce green house gas emissions. Hence African DNAs in particular need to provide more support to project developers to ensure an increase in potential CDM projects and therefore an increase in CERs once the projects have been implemented.