Rwanda is keen to leverage various emission reduction projects, including innovative solutions like biogas projects that transform cow manure into valuable energy sources and fertilisers. This comprehensive approach demonstrates Rwanda's commitment to environmental sustainability and its readiness to harness the full potential of the carbon credit market. ALSO READ: Rwanda set to debut on global carbon market During the Smart City Investment Summit held in Kigali, Adam Bradford, Director of CO2 Capital's Africa project, revealed a pivotal development in the world of carbon markets. This initiative took shape following Bradford's participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) hosted in Rwanda last year. In a noteworthy endeavor, CO2 Capital, supported by its parent holding company, CSG, is currently engaged in exploring carbon market prospects within Rwanda, coinciding with the country's ambitious pursuit of making its debut in the global carbon market, as disclosed to The New Times. ALSO READ: Ngirente calls for innovation in climate finance, carbon market CO2 Capital specializes in scaling up verified carbon credit projects via forest restoration and agroforestry using blockchain technology. This market enables climate polluters to fund projects that reduce carbon emissions in other countries, and they can then include these emissions reductions in their own climate targets while still emitting greenhouse gases. A carbon credit is a kind of permit that represents one tone of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere. The firm creates compelling carbon credits and value chain portfolios that include forest protection, improved forest management, forest restoration, blue carbon, and community trees and forests. ALSO READ: 2.2m carbon credits issued in Rwanda In an interview with The New Times on September 6, 2023, on the sidelines of the Africa Smart City Investment summit in Kigali, Adam Bradford, the Director of CO2 Capital project Africa, said the idea of exploring carbon market opportunities came up when he attended CHOGM in Rwanda last year. ALSO READ: Carbon trading: Indigenous trees to take up 40% of Rwanda’s forests “We are developing a financial solution and sustainability forecast program with the main focus on sequestering carbon in forest, land management, and other products using blockchain technology. We have been exploring the African continent for quite some time where we have projects,” he said. The investors say that by creating and distributing carbon offset credits on the blockchain instead of using traditional methods such as web-based registries or paper documentation, each individual emissions reduction can be uniquely traced and verified. The firm’s services include a corporate footprint audit, carbon footprint calculator, carbon credits offset, and carbon neutral certification. The technology being used greatly increases the reliability of data and, ultimately, the legitimacy of each emissions reduction because it eliminates human error in manual record-keeping, double counting, and increases the speed and efficiency of credit registrations, as the blockchain updates near-instantaneously. The technology also enhances data security because blockchain entries cannot be fraudulently altered or hacked as the data is encrypted end-to-end and provides greater transparency to the carbon market amidst criticisms from climate activists. Experience Bradford said, for instance, that such projects worked in Finland capturing carbon in forest land. The carbon offset project in this country helps preserve biodiversity and the natural heritage by supporting the management of privately-owned forest. Covering 40 hectares in the north of Finland, this project achieves greenhouse gas emission reductions by avoiding the release of carbon associated with timber harvesting, road building, and other forestry operations. It is harnessing satellite imagery, drone scanning, and deploying blockchain technology to unlock the full potential of green asset projects via afforestation and forest preservation, protecting biodiversity, restoring nature, and promoting socio-economic benefits. Their technology enables them to scan more than 800 hectares of forest land per day. Once collected, the data and image footage of the trees are processed through our AI-optimized cloud software, then added as tokenized carbon credits assets to the CO2.CAPITAL vault. From the vault, the carbon credits become immediately tradable. Offsetters can then buy these tokenized carbon credits directly on the website and store them in their wallets. “We have standards on the market to ensure the highest degree of transparency,” he noted. He said the projects are in North and South America, Europe, among others. “Rwanda could be a blueprint for what we want to do across African countries,” he said. He said there are also carbon credit opportunities in other sectors such as green energy. “The carbon market initiative is very much partnership-based. We are also looking at community job creation for social impact,” Bradford noted, emphasizing that their technology ensures governance and transparency in the scheme. Ishmael Dodoo, the Vice President for CO2 Capital Africa Development, added that Rwanda has a spectacular leadership enabling opportunities for exploration. “Commitment from the highest level reassures,” he said, explaining that nature reserves, community-based natural resources managed initiatives, sustainable land use practices, initiatives in the agriculture and food production sector, smart cities, smart technologies, indigenous trees, and others are opportunities for carbon credits that could also create jobs. “We are very much interested in building partnerships. The role that we want to play is to bring the financing to enable countries such as Rwanda to make the transition to a green economy,” he said. Rwanda is planning to plant more trees, of which 40 percent must be indigenous species, in order to access the carbon market, Concorde Nsengumuremyi, the Director General of Rwanda Forestry Authority, told The New Times in July this year. Researchers are carrying out experiments on restoring 20 degraded indigenous (native) tree species so as to recommend those that are resistant to drought and can sequester large quantities of carbon dioxide to cope with climate change.