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PROJECT: Suppressed demand in Africa

Project Reference: TAAF-0034

CDKN provided technical support to the Least Developed Countries (LDC) and African Group of Negotiators at CoP-17 through the Least Developed Countries Environmental Centre (LEC) based in Uganda to effectively negotiate the suppressed demand issue within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) processes. The issue of suppressed demand, if taken up by decision makers and implemented by the UNFCCC, will ensure that climate finance is unlocked for climate compatible development specifically in Africa.

The majority of the population in LDCs and a number of African countries suffer from high levels of poverty and low levels of development, with most people unable to meet their basic human needs such as access to clean and safe water, access to adequate energy for cooking and lighting due to a variety of factors including poor infrastructure and high technology costs. Although there is a high demand for these services this demand is largely unmet, leading to a situation commonly referred to as ‘suppressed demand’. Suppressed demand is where the demand for services is low due to constraints on income, access and infrastructure, not because of an absence of consumer interest.

By accounting for suppressed demand in determining emissions reductions in carbon projects, it is assumed energy demand will rise over time as the provision of energy services improves. Calculations of emissions reductions in these projects aren’t based on past or current energy demand (which is low), but future expected consumption levels. Development projects, including those that provide or extend basic services to the poor, can claim more carbon credits and generate greater carbon finance revenue. The result: more viable carbon projects, greater access to basic services, and cleaner technology and development pathways.

This project aimed to raise awareness of suppressed demand amongst the African and LDC climate change negotiators. To date Africa has been slow in accessing climate finance. By raising awareness and lobbying Africa negotiating groups and other key players, the suppressed demand issues can receive greater recognition and can be used to leverage climate finance.

Key resources:

Lead: Mr Phillip Gwage, Least Developed Countries Environmental Centre

CDKN funding: £64,000

To find out more about the LEC’s activities at COP17 please click here.

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