Dubai-based company Blue Carbon has signed a $1.5 billion memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Zimbabwe to fund forest protection and rehabilitation projects. The deal aims to create carbon credits from offsetting projects, covering almost a fifth of Zimbabwe’s total landmass. Carbon credits are tradable instruments that allow companies to compensate for their carbon emissions by financing projects that reduce or remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Blue Carbon, led by Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, a member of Dubai’s royal family, has already established similar agreements with Liberia, Zambia, and Tanzania. The company’s latest deal with Zimbabwe covers 150,000 square miles of land and is expected to bring $1.5 billion in climate finance to the African nation.
The partnership between Blue Carbon and Zimbabwe is seen as a powerful alliance in the face of a shared global challenge. The project will cover an area of over 7 million hectares, generating hundreds of millions of dollars for Zimbabwe. President Emmerson Mnangagwa stated that the project will close the government’s financing gap by $200 million, while enabling the country to generate high-quality carbon credits for the international market. The revenue generated from carbon credits will be used for community engagement and local development.
Zimbabwe’s decision to scrap existing carbon projects in May caused concern among investors and developers. However, the government recently amended its carbon laws, allowing project developers to retain 70% of the total profit share. The remaining 30% will go to various stakeholders. This change, along with the partnership with Blue Carbon, provides a boost to Zimbabwe’s carbon market.
The UAE has close ties with Zimbabwe, being the largest destination for the African country’s exports. The UAE Carbon Alliance has committed to purchasing $450 million worth of carbon credits from the African Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI) by 2030. This commitment was made at the first Africa Climate Summit, where the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA) signed a letter of intent with ACMI. The UAE will also host this year’s UN Climate Change Conference, COP28, in November-December.
Collaborations between companies like Blue Carbon and nations like Zimbabwe not only contribute to reducing global carbon emissions but also provide essential funding for climate finance and nature conservation efforts. As the demand for carbon credits continues to rise, such partnerships are crucial in the collective efforts to combat climate change.