ACDG hails promulgation of Gabon’s progressive new Climate Change Law
Law establishes robust framework for participation in carbon markets
We are delighted to report that the Gabonese Republic last week adopted a progressive new Climate Change Law that creates the necessary institutional frameworks for Gabon to sell carbon credits on international markets.
Adopted on 13 September 2021 by Gabon’s Council of Ministers, the new law introduces structured mechanisms to measure and curb emissions at national and sectoral levels. It provides the framework for a national system of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission allowances that will be accurately measured, reported and verified, and helps establish a carbon offset system and carbon credit market.
The law also ensures the full protection of forests with high conservation value and high carbon content, while setting a cap of 15,000 ha per year for harvesting in natural forests.
“Our country has followed a deliberate policy over more than 30 years to preserve our forests. We now need to develop a carbon credit market to progress our objective of sustainable, low-carbon economic development for the well-being of our people.”
Mr Tanguy Gahouma, Permanent Secretary of Gabon’s National Climate Council
Welcoming the new law, Alan Bernstein, Chairman of ACDG, states: “This marks a major step forward for Gabon in its mission to secure global recognition of the value of forest carbon in tackling climate change. Establishing such a rigorous framework puts Gabon on a strong footing as it prepares to engage international carbon markets.”
Under the provisions of the law, a new regulator, the Climate Issues Management Authority, will oversee the development of a GHG emissions plan, including a national emissions cap to be progressively lowered to reflect the Republic’s Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement. The law also puts in place the infrastructure for Gabon to sell Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
“Gabon is probably the most carbon positive nation on the planet with a net absorption of 100 million tons of CO2 every year as a result of our protected and well managed forests. We are satisfied that this new Climate Change Law will ensure that Gabon maintains its carbon positive position until at least 2050 and beyond.”
Professor Lee White, Minister of Water and Forestry
The Climate Issues Management Authority will also develop and approve GHG emissions reduction methodologies to be applied in Gabon. ACDG has developed the first landscape-level methodology designed for tropical forest ecosystems in partnership with a team of global experts and has submitted this methodology to the Republic for approval.
The methodology, which recognises the complexity of large-scale forest landscapes, is helping to guide ACDG in the implementation of an approved Sustainable Development Plan for its Grande Mayumba project, spanning 731,000 ha of forests and grassland in southern Gabon. The Sustainable Development Plan, which incorporates agriculture, sustainable forestry, ecotourism and infrastructure development, ensures that one third of the landscape will be formally protected for biodiversity conservation.
“Gabon’s Climate Change Law is one of the most developed in the world and is specifically aligned to the Paris Agreement. Gabon is setting the standard for other countries to follow.”
Martijn Wilder, Co-founding Partner at Pollination Group and advisor to governments on climate change law and policy