EAC still left out on global carbon economy

East African states are yet to walk the talk in as far as combating the adverse effects of global climate change- and the opportunities. To bring climate change to the door step of the private sector a new way of thinking has been instituted.

East African states are yet to walk the talk in as far as combating the adverse effects of global climate change- and the opportunities. To bring climate change to the door step of the private sector a new way of thinking has been instituted.

The business of climate change is now part of a new lexicon within corporate boardrooms in the West.

What is disappointing is that this is an area where the leading brands of the region have chosen to be left out of.

Within Western Europe you cannot dare call yourself a CEO if your company is not thinking about being ‘carbon compliant’.

It is so serious that companies have come up with environmental sustainability reporting on the kind of progress they are making periodically.

What I am saying is that the business of climate change is infact big business and that our local CEOs seem to be missing out on this business opportunity. When you look at how carbon business can be developed and deployed various glaring examples abound.

In Rwanda the methane gas project is a perfect example. Within carbon business it is called methane gas capture.

This is whereby the methane gas, a very potent gas listed as one of the culprits within climate change is actually tapped and used to produce other forms of energy. When this conversion involving capture is undertaken carbon credits can be accumulated.

Carbon credit is real cash. I really don’t know whether Contour Global have critically looked at the extra revenue streams which can emanate from developing a ‘carbon flow’ meaning the carbon credits, from the Kibuye methane project.

So many other examples can be highlighted. When Bralirwa uses methane gas to heat their boilers at Kibuye instead of using other sources, this is actually carbon business.

They ought to be paid for doing just that. The question is whether its management has bothered to take up this issue.

Kenyan power producer KenGen and Rwanda’s Electrogaz has taken steps in this direction albeit minimal ones.

But one can say that these are public utilities. We need to see East African breweries, Unilever, Safaricom, MTN, Mukwano Group, IPP Media, Nation Media Group, all lining up to be counted.

Mumias Sugar Kenya’s leading sugar producer has joined this global carbon race.  It is now using sugar by products to produce power to the national grid.

Apart from billing KenGen for supply of electric power Mumias will bill the world through carbon credits and they will get top dollar doing just that for the next 20 years or so.

I think closely here in Rwanda Kibuye Sugar Works ought to look at that kind of doing business. 

There is serious cash to be made. Within the third world Chinese, Brazilian and Indian companies are cashing in on this new mode of doing business. In the process they have raked in billions.

As we speak East Africans are not anywhere to be picked up by the radar of global carbon business.

ojiwah@gmail.com

 

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