First African emissions reduction credit platform unveiled

May 04, 2022 by Bloomberg
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Tamuwa, Kenya’s largest biomass company, is starting Africa’s first verifiable emissions reduction platform in a bid to benefit its own projects and those of other companies in the region that cut the production of climate-warming gases.

Tamuwa, Kenya’s largest biomass company, is starting Africa’s first verifiable emissions reduction platform in a bid to benefit its own projects and those of other companies in the region that cut the production of climate-warming gases.

The platform, to be known as CYNK, will use the Hedera Hashgraph public decentralized ledger to track emission reductions, enabling them to be sold to polluters aiming to offset their own emissions, Tamuwa said in a statement on Wednesday. Hedera says the blockchain technology used is energy-efficient.

The intention of Tamuwa, a unit of Singapore-based Tamu Group, is to ensure more income from verifiable emission reductions, or VERs, accrues to companies that undertake to reduce the output of climate-warming gases. While carbon credits are included among VERS, the platform will cater for firms, including Tamuwa, that cut the production of methane.

Tamuwa produces almost all of its biomass briquettes from waste known as bagasse that’s generated by sugar milling operations in Kenya. Bagasse produces methane if left to rot.

The briquettes substitute the use of firewood or charcoal for a range of purposes, including the drying of tea -- one of Kenya’s biggest foreign-income earners. Tea production alone consumes about 3 million cubic meters of firewood annually, contributing to deforestation. The Kenya Tea Development Authority is pushing its members to use products such as those produced by Tamuwa. 

While Kenya depends on energy sources such as geothermal operations for its electricity supply, the majority of cooking and many other activities use alternatives such as wood.

“The grid is only part of the energy use,” Nils Razmilovic, Tamuwa’s chief executive officer, said in an interview.

Tamuwa plans to generate 5 million tokenized VERs over the next five years and CYNK is in talks with other companies to join the platform, Tamuwa said.

CYNK was set up with money from the HBAR Foundation’s Sustainable Impact Fund of more than $100 million, which was announced in March. The foundation was set up by the Hedera Governing Council, which includes representatives from Boeing Co., Standard Bank Group and other companies.

“It’s a fully auditable project, which improves trust and transparency, which means better liquidity for the assets,” said Wes Geisenberger, who runs the fund for the HBAR Foundation. It may “provide a market for the entirety of eastern Africa and eventually the continent,” he said.

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By Antony Sguazzin

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