Voluntary Carbon Market Does Not Mean no Government Regulation: Verra + CarrZee; Abu Dhabi Gets Cracking (1)

Indeed, government regulation will help spur the market, boost credibility and increase trading, says CarrZee.

Key quote: A future evolution of the voluntary carbon markets will also include governments taking a role in them. “What I would like to see is an embracing of [the voluntary carbon markets]…. And to the extent that governments can take on these regulatory roles, and bring in all the work that we’ve been doing, that would be a great, great outcome,” said Verra CEO David Antonioli.

See this from earlier in the week (Unedited):

Abu Dhabi to launch the first regulated carbon credit trading exchange and clearing house in the world

MARCH 29, 2022, Abu Dhabi & Singapore –

  • ADGM – the first regulator in the world to develop a framework to support carbon as a commodity
  • Corporates can trade and finance carbon credits like conventional financial assets
  • The world’s first fully regulated voluntary carbon exchange and carbon clearing house
  • Creating the first regulated Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) in MENA
  • As part of ADGM’s proposed framework to recognise carbon as an investment grade commodities emissions instrument and as a regulated spot and commodity derivative.

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the International Financial Centre in Abu Dhabi, is pleased to partner with AirCarbon Exchange (ACX) to create the world’s first fully regulated carbon trading exchange and carbon clearing house which will be established in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Pursuant to its recently released consultation paper, ADGM is set to become the first jurisdiction globally to regulate carbon credits and offsets as emission instruments, and to issue licenses for exchanges to operate both spot and derivative markets.

The regulatory framework will allow corporates to trade and finance carbon credits like conventional financial assets, thus increasing participation and investment in global carbon reduction and offset programmes.

Expected to launch in 2022, ACX will be established as a Recognised Investment Exchange (RIE) and regulated by ADGM. As a regulated RIE, ACX aims to offer its market participants and customers efficient trading and a regulated transparent price discovery mechanism.

In addition, ACX aims to set up a regulated Recognised Clearing House (RCH) – which will be known as ACX Clearing Corporation – for the purposes of custodising, clearing and settling commodities and commodity derivatives.

ACX intends to initially use its distributed ledger technology within a traditional commodity trading construct to create tokenised carbon credits for spot trading. At a later stage, ACX plans to offer carbon credit futures as commodity derivatives for trading. All digital tokens will be custodised by the RCH, settled and cleared using the RCH’s blockchain smart contracts providing efficient settlement for all spot transactions.

It is intended that the RCH, once established and operating within ADGM, will play a pivotal role in other markets and financial instruments, including virtual asset markets, adding vital market infrastructure to the digital trading ecosystem. ACX intends to extend its trading platform offering to include clean energy products, in addition to carbon credits.

His Excellency Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of ADGM, said: “This is a significant global milestone and another world’s first for Abu Dhabi. This initiative reinforces ADGM’s commitment and ongoing efforts to cement its position as a leading international financial centre and world-class global commodities and carbon trading hub. We are excited to be partnering with ACX to enable and facilitate trading of high-quality carbon credits, and in that aspect, encourage more companies to reach their decarbonisation goals. As the first country in the Gulf to commit to net zero by 2050, this new trading platform is a further extension of Abu Dhabi’s drive to support sustainability ambitions and underlines ADGM’s focus on carbon neutrality as an international financial centre.”

William Pazos, Managing Director and Co-Founder of ACX, & Kevin Iwanaga, COO MENA Region, said: “Abu Dhabi and by extension ADGM, are an integral part of ACX’s global expansion. Our recent partnership with the Deutsche Börse Group, expansion into Brazil and our already well advanced full exchange and clearing application in ADGM complement each other to deliver a truly global marketplace from the heart of the MENA region. We are excited to work within a dynamic and forward thinking ecosystem such as ADGM.”

​Last year, ACX was recognised as the Best Carbon Exchange in Environmental Finance’s prestigious Voluntary Carbon Market Rankings. In January, ACX partnered with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to promote carbon offsetting via UNFCCC Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) to allow clients representing 30 different countries to purchase and retire CERs for their carbon offsetting purposes. It will be the second exchange in the world, and the first in MENA, to list CERs held in the UNFCCC Clean Development Mechanism registry.

​ACX aligns with the UAE’s goal to accelerate national economic development. Last year, the UAE became the first nation in the Middle East and North Africa to announce a plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Through the Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, the UAE aims to attract inflows from global capital markets as investors increasingly seek ESG-compliant investments.

In January 2022, ADGM announced that it had achieved carbon-neutrality status by offsetting its carbon emissions in 2021, which underpins ADGM’s commitment to building a progressive and more sustainable economy. It was the world’s first international financial centre to become carbon neutral.

About Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international financial centre (IFC) located in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, opened for business on 21 October 2015. Established by a UAE Federal Decree as a broad-based financial centre, ADGM augments Abu Dhabi’s position as a global trade and business hub serving as a strategic link between the growing economies of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and the rest of the world.

ADGM’s strategy is anchored by Abu Dhabi’s key strengths spanning over private banking, wealth management, asset management, derivatives and commodities trading, financial innovation, sustainability and more. Comprising three independent authorities: ADGM Courts, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority and the Registration Authority, ADGM as an IFC governs the entire 114 hectares (1.14sqkm) of Al Maryah Island which is a designated financial free zone.

It enables registered financial and non-financial institutions, companies and entities to operate, innovate and succeed within an international regulatory framework based on common law. Since its inception, ADGM has been awarded the “Financial Centre of the Year (MENA)” for four consecutive years for its initiatives and contributions to the financial and capital markets industry in the region.*

For more details on ADGM, please visit www.adgm.com or follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @adglobalmarket and LinkedIn: @Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

For enquiries: media@adgm.com

Unedited press release:

Carney, Antonioli Agree That Carbon Credits are Vital for Getting the World to Net Zero

29 March 2022

Mark Carney and David Antonioli focus on the high-integrity scaling of carbon markets

WASHINGTON, DC – 29 March 2022 | In a webinar hosted by global law firm White & Case, David Antonioli, CEO of Verra, and Mark Carney, former Governor of the Bank of England and current UN Special Envoy for Climate and Finance, discussed the role of carbon credits in helping the world meet its climate goals.

With governments and companies setting ambitious climate commitments, questions about how to achieve these goals are becoming increasingly important. In their remarks, both Antonioli and Carney emphasized that the foremost responsibility of countries and companies is to reduce emissions. Carbon credits serve as an important complementary tool that can channel finance to additional activities that help us meet the global carbon budget.

“For [this market] to really grow, it can only do that if it has high integrity on the supply side and on the demand side,” said Mark Carney. He also emphasized that the market’s fragmented nature has held back its growth and the need to develop core carbon principles for the market.

“A lot of work [has been done] by GHG programs to figure out what makes for a credible carbon credit”, added David Antonioli.

Looking ahead, Carney and Antonioli both said they believe carbon markets will play an increasingly important role in the transition to a net zero world – and that they will drive that evolution at times. They cited the role carbon markets played in the expansion of renewable energy projects before the technologies became cost-effective without carbon finance. “Companies buying carbon credits are doing a big service, buying forward, paying premium on these technologies that we will all need,” said Carney.

A future evolution of the voluntary carbon markets will also include governments taking a role in them. “What I would like to see is an embracing of [the voluntary carbon markets]…. And to the extent that governments can take on these regulatory roles, and bring in all the work that we’ve been doing, that would be a great, great outcome,” said Antonioli.

This webinar was part of White & Case’s “World in Transition” global webinar series and was moderated by Ingrid York, a partner in White & Case.

One comment

  1. ‘Carbon Allowances’ are A One Trillion Dollar Scam

    Carbon Trade is Already Covering the Equivalent of

    One Half of World Energy Emissions of $1 Trillion

    Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE) has said that trading in ‘Carbon Allowances’ has reached a record volume in 2021 on its various markets — the volume of Buying and Selling reached the equivalent of about one half of ALL global energy emissions. A total of 18 billion tons of ‘Carbon Allowances’ were traded in 2021. Equivalent to an estimated 1 trillion in US dollars. ICE trades by far the biggest market share in the Global market, although other exchanges including the European Energy Exchange (EEX) also handle sizable volumes, as well.

    This whole system is a Self-Fulfilling Prophesy . . .A game of Slight of Hand . . . A Magician’s Trick . . .

    Who will stand against this Injustice? . . . Who will go on the Record? . . . Where is the Media??

    The best example of this is Tesla. Yes, that Tesla we all know and love, the electric car maker, who sold Carbon Credits on the ‘Market-Based Carbon Emissions Trading Exchanges’ to the tune of over 2 Billion dollars worth of credits in 2021, about $2,000 per car, because Environmentalists have declared Electric Cars are ‘Emissions Free’ . . . Emissions Free? . . . is that so . . .?? Really?


    EV’s cause at least 15% more CO2 to be burned per mile driven, then the manufacturers can still sell Carbon Credits worth $2,000 per car. Equal to . . . and allowing another 400 tons of CO2 with those carbon credits sold . . . per car . . . at today’s prices . . . Interesting?

    OH YEAH . . . Mr. Carr . . . Advocate for the scammers . . . take more money from the poor and hand it over to the biggest international fraudsters in history . . .

    So sad that an intelligent man like you couldn’t figure this out on your own . . . You have been HAD !!

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