PACE History

Where we started

The Promoting Access to Carbon Equity (PACE) Centre is a South African based, not-for-profit, voluntary organisation. PACE was established in 2004 to develop high quality Clean Development Mechanism and Voluntary Carbon Trading projects in Southern Africa. Growing recognition of the limitations of CDM to provide revenue to the types of small, poverty alleviatng projects that PACE supports has seen an increasing focus on the voluntary market.

PACE has consulted to the Clean Development Mechanism and VER projects and advised municipalities, businesses and NGOs on the creation of local carbon markets.

PACE personally developed its first 5 projects, but when these projects struggled to access carbon revenue on account of their scale, location or their inability to pay the transaction costs associated with CDM, we realised it was time to create a carbon registry that could serve this end of the market. The formation of the "Credible Carbon™" facility followed and served to transition PACE from a donor funded support agency to a financially independent NPO.  This process has been carefully managed over a number of years.

PACE now plays the role as a project originator, advisor and project proponent to a range of carbon projects all of which are defined by their ability to remove quantifiable amounts of greenhouse gas from the atmosphere and simultaneoulsy alleviate poverty.  

PACE History

Following the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg in 2002, the UK Government recognised that small-scale CDM projects offer an ideal opportunity to fulfill environmental and development goals. In 2004, ahead of the UK's Presidency of the European Union with a focus on Africa and climate change, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (UKFCO) funded an initiative to facilitate this process as part of its Global Opportunities Fund. UKFCO commissioned EcoSecurities and Ecofys to undertake pilot projects in South Africa and India to demonstrate the value of national centres for small-scale CDM projects focused on renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Parallax (headed by Dean Cooper), in partnership with Econologic (represented by Anton Cartwright), was selected as the local partner for South Africa and given the task of establishing the PACE Centre. The PACE Centre began facilitating small-scale CDM projects in 2004 and was established as a separate voluntary organization in September 2006.  PACE received its official non-for-profit status in 2007.

After developing a CDM project pipeline in South Africa as part of a project with the UKFCO, PACE recognised the limitations of this formal UN controlled mechanism.  The high transaction costs and arduous administrative processes meant that most small-scale opportunities for carbon-saving (often those with the greatest sustainable development benefits) could not be included.  The introduction of programmatic CDM and new carbon registries respectively seemed like a good step towards relieving some of the barriers to small-scale projects, but did not address the structural uncertainties and costs for project developers. On this basis, PACE has introduced its own registry, Credible Carbon, for poverty alleviating projects in Africa. Although less involved in project development than we used to be, PACE still typically plays the advisory role of project proponent to projects seeking to register with Credible Carbon.

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