Qatar Economic Forum/ Chairman of Global Carbon Council to QNA: Transitioning to Low-Carbon Economy Requires International Cooperation

Doha, May 25 (QNA) – Chairman of the Global Carbon Council Dr. Yousef bin Mohammed Al Horr said that transitioning to a low-carbon economy is a challenge that calls for international cooperation involving the public and private sectors to address the problem of climate change, which requires the concerted efforts of governments, organizations, and individuals alike.

This came in a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA) commenting on the ongoing discussion in that regard and including the goal of “transitioning to a low-carbon economy” among the topics discussed by the Qatar Economic Forum during its third edition.

The carbon footprint expert, Dr. Al Horr indicated that the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities has been agreed and that governs the global climate actions. It includes an acceptance that we should be able to collaborate across borders and industries in catalyzing climate actions, and that we should engage with all sectors of society.

He stressed that this cooperation enables governments and private sector actors to do more, earlier and faster than what they could achieve individually. The collaboration between countries is on capacity building, technology transfer, and international climate finance. One of the key sources of international finance is the “carbon markets” under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

Dr. Al Horr added that over the past years, carbon markets have gained momentum as a powerful tool for facing climate challenges by linking financial incentives to environmentally friendly initiatives, and their role in stimulating positive innovation and investment in clean technologies. At the same time, carbon markets give a price index to institutions to take responsibility and contribute to reducing their emissions.

He pointed out that independent GHG standard bodies have a very important role in this. Global Carbon Council (GCC) is playing its part by operation of the global GHG Program approved under the scheme referred as “Carbon Offsetting and Reduction for International Aviation (CORSIA)” of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and International Carbon Reduction and Offsetting Alliance (ICROA).

He noted that GCC has already received 1485 GHG reduction projects from approximately 45 countries in the last two years which will reduce about 2 billion Tons of CO2 equivalent emissions in ten years time. This means that GCC will issue approximately 2 billion carbon credits in the next 7 to 10 years.

He said that the GCCs role is to create market instrument that can be used to raise international climate finance. GCC is engaging with several countries to facilitate climate actions under Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement, by facilitating cooperative approaches for use of carbon markets with a central role of GCC as a GHG standard.

Qatar has several strengths and enablers that would allow it to play a vital role on a global level. Apart from the financial abilities, the Qatar-based Global Carbon Council (GCC) supports governments in implementing and operationalizing Article 6.2 and private sector project owners in receiving revenues for the carbon credits generated from GHG emission reduction projects. 

Dr. Al Horr stressed, “Qatar, therefore, can play a pivotal role in capacity building for the global players and countries and can encourage cooperative approaches under Article 6.2 between countries to help them raise international finance to support each other’s nationally determined contributions (NDCs).”

He added that despite the global trends that promote carbon markets as a major catalyst for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, their polarization in the Middle East and North Africa region was relatively slow, so the GCC launched the first voluntary carbon market in the region, and it is now the only voluntary carbon market. outside first-world countries, to bridge this gap.

He pointed out that GCC is playing its part by operating the global GHG Program approved under the scheme referred to as “Carbon Offsetting and Reduction for International Aviation (CORSIA)” of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and International Carbon Reduction and Offsetting Alliance (ICROA). He explained that the program deals with carbon offsets benefiting a wide range of greenhouse gas reduction projects including those launched in the Gulf and MENA region.

After the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt reached a breakthrough agreement to provide “loss and damage” funding – funded by industrialized countries – for vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters, he explained that the fund is a pivotal step toward a world without carbon emissions, adding that the harmful effects of global warming are not evenly distributed as the countries that caused the least amount of damage are the most vulnerable to natural disasters. He underlined that the world leaders achieved a historic decision in COP27 by establishing a fund to compensate for the losses and damages suffered by poor countries to provide climate justice for all in need.

Dr. Al Horr pointed out the operation of this fund involves complex and interrelated challenges that are scheduled to be addressed at the COP28, hoping that the upcoming climate conference will have a real impact in quickly funding the fund to support affected communities.

The Qatar Economic Forum 2023 discussed, in one of its sessions, how countries of the world can achieve a profitable and equitable transition to a low-carbon economy, during which they discussed the future of green business and the rapidly evolving scene of standards, goals, technologies, and investments that work to achieve net zero.

During the session, the speakers confirmed progress at the level of countries as well as at the level of companies, especially in terms of setting goals and commitment to reaching the goal of net zero, reviewing the experiences of South Asian countries, especially Malaysia, where the focus is on trying to achieve a net-zero economy. (QNA)