Malawi seeks to generate forex by selling carbon credits


President Lazarus Chakwera says Malawi wants to be producing 5 million carbon credits per year which could be sold to mobilize up to 100 million dollars (about K104 billion) and support more than 250,000 jobs.

Speaking on Friday in his State of the Nation Address, Chakwera said his administration is pursuing carbon trading under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change.

According to Chakwera, his administration is engaging with carbon markets through the National Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+), as well as through the new partnership which his administration has established with the African Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI) in order to scale up its carbon credit production.

“So our plan is to expand these projects from the current average of 600,000 tonnes of carbon credits each year towards our national target of generating 5 million carbon credits, which will mobilize up to 100 million dollars and support more than 250,000 jobs,” said Chakwera.

He added: “This would only be the beginning, because the value of Malawi’s carbon credits is estimated at close to 20 million metric tons of carbon per annum valued at 628 million dollars per annum.”

He then admitted that Malawi has to get serious about preserving its forests in order to sustain the program.

He said as part of conservation efforts, Malawi in 2022 planted trees on 5,772.4 hectares of natural regeneration, contributing to an increase in our forest cover in areas such as Kaning’ina, Dzalanyama, Mulanje, Zomba-Malosa, Pelekezi, Ntchisi, Thuma, Thambani, Mua-Livulezi, and Philirongwe Forest Reserves, which are vital water catchments, tourist attractions, and biodiversity hotspots.

Last year at the Climate Change Summit, Malawi signed a carbon trading compact with the Government of Switzerland for transaction of Internationally-Transferable Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs) under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

Under the agreement, Switzerland will assist Malawi reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the European country will count emission reductions in Malawi towards its own reduction target.