Qatar-based Global Carbon Council (GCC) renewed its commitment to sustainability by participating in UNFCCC MENA Climate Week that was held in Dubai recently. UNFCCC stands for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

A delegation of climate and sustainability experts from the GCC joined the region’s first-ever Climate Week with insightful presentations on carbon markets and finance and climate advisory. The event was hosted by the government of the United Arab Emirates and organised in collaboration with the UN Climate Change, the UN Development Programme, the UN Environment Programme and the World Bank Group.

GCC Chairman Dr Yousef Alhorr
GCC Chairman Dr Yousef Alhorr

Within the MENA region, the GCC is the first and only voluntary carbon market with international reach, facilitating organisations in implementing climate actions through carbon offsetting. During the four-day event, experts from GCC presented, moderated and led a range of side events.

Speaking on GCC’s participation at the MENA Climate Week, GCC Founding Chairman Dr Yousef Alhorr said that the UNFCCC Climate Week held in MENA for the first time reflects the region’s promising potential to drive sustainability and meet shared climate objective of limiting global warming to well below 2°C. He said that GCC is participating in the historic event to reaffirm Qatar’s pledge to the Paris Agreement, guided by Qatar National Vision 2030 and the country’s National Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

Catalyzing climate actions

Attracting more than 100 stakeholders from different industries and government bodies, GCC representatives hosted a 90-minute session on the third day of the Climate Week, in which they discussed how GCC is catalyzing climate actions as MENA region’s first and only voluntary carbon market. Highlighting the role of carbon markets in achieving sustainable development of the region, the side event also promoted carbon finance opportunities for GHG emission reduction projects. In doing so, the session invited stakeholders representing GCC project owners, verifiers and others who shared their collective experiences of using the GCC programme.

Moderated by GCC Chief Operating Officer Kishor Rajhansa, the session featured speakers from organisations such as the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA), Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), Verico SCE, Masdar and Bauer.

Seven presentations were delivered by seasoned professionals who provided a general overview of the GCC programme, followed by an insight on integrating requirements on sustainable development goals and environmental and social safeguards in the GCC programme. An overview of Carbon Neutrality of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 was also delivered by a sustainability expert from the SC.

On the fourth day of the Climate Week, GCC concluded its engagement by participating in a session titled, The Latest on Carbon Markets and Pricing in the MENA Region organised by IETA/World Bank. During the session, the panellists discussed the challenges and opportunities of carbon pricing and markets that the MENA region faces after COP26, including the key role played by the private sector through participation in voluntary carbon markets such as the GCC and adoption of internal carbon pricing.

The session also discussed some key takeaways of Article 6 and its implication for the region, particularly for the private sector and how regional corporations can support the efforts. The audience were given the opportunity to better understand the leading carbon pricing developments and recognise the benefits of carbon markets.

GCC’s participation in MENA Climate Week resulted in piquing the interest of many different stakeholders to better understand the role of carbon markets, particularly the GCC programme. To date, over 220 GHG reduction projects have been registered in the GCC’s portal, with expectation that this number will reach 400-500 projects by the end of 2022.

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