US climate envoy Kerry outlines carbon offset initiative for developing countries

ABU DHABI (Reuters) – U.S. climate envoy John Kerry on Sunday outlined the basics of a “high integrity” carbon offset plan to help developing countries accelerate their energy transitions, and next steps, including the creation of an advisory group.

The Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA), first announced at last year’s COP27 climate conference, is being developed by the United States with the Bezos Earth Fund and the Rockefeller Foundation to mobilize private capital .

Kerry told the Atlantic Council’s World Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi that the goal was to create bankable deals to accelerate emissions reductions, stressing that ETA was not a substitute for other sources of energy. funding and would be time-limited.

“We believe you can have high integrity, accountable and transparent credit that will help us put money on the table,” he said, acknowledging widespread criticism of voluntary offset programs. carbon.

Such programs, in which companies get emissions credits in exchange for funneling money to poor countries that reduce their carbon output, have often been riddled with fraud and double counting.

“There are only two purposes for which we will allow someone to purchase a credit – one, to shut down or transition an existing fossil fuel facility that provides electricity, and two, to the effective deployment of renewable energy that will replace the current dirty supply,” Kerry said.

He said the ETA principles also called for a short-term, inclusive and holistic approach to achieving broader sustainable development goals and supporting energy transition across the electricity sector.

The Rockefeller Foundation issued a joint statement on Sunday with a preliminary list of members of ETA’s high-level advisory group that Kerry said would provide a wide range of input and add more participants.

(Reporting by Rachna Uppal and Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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