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Dr Yousef Alhorr

The Arab countries possess immense potential for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, serving as powerful vehicles to meet their NDCs under the Paris Agreement, provided that these projects are sufficiently incentivized. Recognizing this opportunity and challenge, the Global Carbon Council (GCC) and the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE) have embarked on a strategic partnership to drive Net Zero pathways and sustainable development in the MENA region. The two entities recently held a webinar in collaboration with the League of Arab States (LAS) aimed to share knowledge and build capacity of Arab nations on carbon markets and credits and explore ways in which carbon markets can help Arab State members meet their climate goals.

As the only carbon credit program based in the Global South and originating from the Arab world, GCC Program holds deep knowledge and understanding of the unique challenges the region faces when it comes to climate change. Identifying renewables as one of the imperative approaches for the region’s low-carbon development, GCC is working with RCREEE to drive the regional Net Zero future.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Dr. Yousef Alhorr, Founding Chairman of GCC, said, “This webinar marks a significant milestone in our joint efforts, building upon the agreement between GCC and RCREEE formalized at the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27) to the UNFCCC in Egypt. Today’s event served as a platform to exchange knowledge and insights on leveraging renewables and carbon markets to achieve the mitigation targets of Arab nations in line with the Paris Agreement. We firmly believe that this collaborative initiative will translate into on-the-ground action by the representative countries, enabling and enhancing the adoption of renewable energy practices in the Arab region.”

GCC collaborates with League of Arab States and RCREEE to drive net zero pathways

In this context, during the webinar, GCC representatives highlighted the role of Global Carbon Council in supporting the private sector to meet their net zero goals and the countries to achieve their NDC targets. One of the major contributions of GCC can be the issuance of high-quality carbon credits eligible as Internationally Transferable Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs) to support international cooperative approaches under Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement. This will go a long way in facilitating the Arab states to meet their NDC targets through the implementation and operationalization of Article 6.2. GCC’s ready infrastructure makes it perfectly suitable to take up this role.

Low carbon development is a common target for both governments and private organizations. Hence, participants of the workshop agreed upon the importance of leveraging carbon finance through carbon markets for sustainable development at local and regional levels. In this context, GCC representatives presented on the types of carbon markets and various eligible project types, and explained the critical role of markets in driving sustainable development and climate actions, supporting the low-carbon journey and achievement of NDC targets. Talking about Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) projects, GCC highlighted the investment barriers and risks associated with such types of projects and presented strategies for the delivery of solutions.

In addition to the explanation of GCC’s Carbon Registry, processes of project registration, verification and carbon credit issuances as well as presenting a case study of one of the Middle Eastern submitted projects, the workshop featured additional presentations on different labels the GCC program offers. These labels include Environmental No-Net Harm (E+ label), Social No-Net Harm (S+ label), UN SDGs (SDG+ label and sub-labels), and CORSIA (C+ label). In addition to this, GCC also offers CA+ label that makes the carbon credits ITMO-eligible.