A Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) certification has been processed by the Virunga National Park and the Aera Group for the Matebe hydropower plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The carbon-financing firm, Aera Group, stated that its partnership with the national park is a first for the company to be done in the country. Under the VCS, the plant is expected to supply more than 13.6MW of clean and affordable electricity to 600,000 people. It is also hoped to spark the green economy in the country, while trying to bring thousands of jobs especially to those living in the Rutshuru region.

While operating, the plant will be able to save around 50,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year. This will generate more carbon credits, which are considered as important environmental assets that can be sold to those who are committed to achieving carbon neutrality.

Commenting on the ecological importance of the hydropower plant, Virunga National Park director, Emmanuel de Merode, said:

“The fight against climate change is one of our key commitments. Protecting biodiversity, improving living conditions and preventing conflicts cannot be addressed without a sustainable pathway.

“We hope Virunga’s offering will attract those with an equal commitment to clean energy and employment based on a green economy.”

Manager at Aera Group, Alexandre Dunod, also commented:

“Matebe is an outstanding ‘run-of-river’, micro-hydro project with strong impact and co-benefits. It is right in line with our portfolio policy focusing on Least Developed Countries and charismatic African stories and activities.”