The Carbon & Climate Change sessions during the Sustainability Summit 2017 highlighted the climate change challenges in regional and global perspectives as well as discuss long-term solutions to take us forward to a low-carbon and climate-resilient future. The two-day summit attended by renowned sustainability and environmental experts representing international agencies, research institutions and government bodies among others offered rich discussions on the technological solutions and policy instruments that the region can adopt to meet its commitment to international community under Paris Agreement of UNFCCC.
In his opening speech, Dr. Yousef Alhorr, Founding Chairman GORD introduced Global Carbon Council (GCC) as GORD’s voluntary regional carbon offset program, that is first-of-its-kind for MENA Region, established to encourage organizations and bodies to reduce their carbon footprint and in particular, to work with the SC to achieve its vision to organize Carbon Neutral Tournament in 2022. He further stated that Middle East needs its own voluntary carbon market program to stimulate regional climate actions in alignment with article 6 of Paris Agreement, as it is least favored among developed countries for carbon finance support. The GCC program has received membership of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA).
GORD and IETA have agreed to work together for the promotion of voluntary carbon markets in middle east to reduce the cost of GHG mitigation, and develop more capacity in the region through such summits and workshops. To further this cause, IETA actively participated in the summit, represented by Mr. Stefano De Clara, Director, International Policy. Mr. De Clara presented global scenario of the carbon market and what Middle East can do to propagate market mechanisms in carbon capture.
Mr. José Retana, Senior Sustainability Manager, FIFA Qatar 2022 Local Organising Committee represented Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy which is mandated to deliver a carbon neutral 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™. He informed the audience that the carbon neutrality will be achieved through carbon credits supplied by GCC based on the regional carbon reduction projects.
Talking about solutions for carbon market, Mr. Kishor Rajhansa, Senior Sustainability & Carbon Advisor, GORD explained that GCC will develop performance standards for projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions, evaluate these projects according to approved standards, and issue carbon credits that will be used later for acquiring carbon finance in accordance with a specific mechanism following global practices. GCC will develop a compendium of climate actions taken by organizations on voluntary basis and help to communicate them in positive context.
Currently GHG reduction projects with high environmental integrity and sustainable development benefits are in the pipeline for registration with GCC. During the Summit, an MoU for one such project was signed between GORD and Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) to establish collaboration for recognition of carbon reduction projects and issuance of carbon credits. KNPC will implement two grid-connected distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) projects of total capacity of 24.5 MW, which will reduce significant carbon emission reductions.