Renewable energy resources, such as hydropower, geothermal energy, solar power and wind energy are plentiful in Africa

The 4th edition of the African Carbon Forum kicked off on Wednesday at the United Nations Conference Center (UNCC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with focus on promoting green and low carbon development on the African continent.

Much emphasis is placed on the decisions taken at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 17) in Durban, South Africa, which have reinforced the international commitment to reducing emissions of greenhouse gas.

Among other topics, presenters are expected to discuss the impact and deliverables Africa can expect to see from the adoption of "Durban Platform."

Tewolde-Berhan Gebre-Egziabher, Director General for Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority, stressed on the harnessing of unused renewable energy resources for Africa’s industrialization.

Renewable energy resources, such as hydropower, geothermal power, solar energy and wind power are plentiful on the continent, he noted.

"We have to start the process of adaptation straightway so as to progress along the climate resilient trajectories of green economic development," said Tewolde-Berhan

"We already started the process, at least in Ethiopia. Getting additional income from a growing carbon trade will help us hasten this process of climate adapted economic development while we are helping in the mitigation of climate change," said the Director General.

During the three-day deliberations, high level experts from Africa and outside the continent are also expected to provide insights on recent developments in the international carbon market and discuss new challenges associated with global climate change.

Topics for the plenary sessions include the future of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in Africa, challenges for low carbon energy access, opportunities in forestry and agriculture and global perspectives on the future demands for offsets.