Singapore’s Chief Negotiator for Climate Change expresses cautious optimism on global carbon market

Ambassador Burhan Gafoor, Singapore’s Chief Negotiator for Climate Change expresses cautious optimism on the global carbon market, during the opening ceremony of the annual Carbon Forum Asia 2011.

Held in Singapore again this year, Carbon Forum Asia 2011 brings together industry leaders, government agencies, policymakers, and emissions trading and CDM market experts to learn, network and discuss issues around climate change and carbon trading. This year, Carbon Forum Asia welcomes around 1,000 international participants from close to 50 countries.

In his opening speech, Ambassador Gafoor spoke about the bleak outlook for the global carbon market due to the uncertainty about the future of the Kyoto Protocol and the flexibility mechansims. However, he expressed cautious optimism about the global carbon market in the medium and longer term.

The reasons for the optimism include the start of a process of mitigation actions by both developed and developing countries under the Cancun Agreements, the majority of countries wanting the global carbon market to continue via the emissions trading and project-based mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol, and growing interest in the carbon market with several countries developing or exploring their own voluntary carbon markets.

However, the world is not near a legally-binding global agreement on climate change, and the carbon markets would be fragmented. As such, there is a need to develop common rules to govern the carbon markets between regions and economies, and ensure the convertibility and environmental integrity of every carbon unit that is traded.

Ambassador Gafoor said that Singapore has always strongly supported the role of the global carbon market, and hopes that the 17th Conference of Parties meeting in Durban would send a strong signal that the carbon markets will continue post-2012. Singapore will continue to develop the carbon market ecosystem in Singapore to serve the regional and global market.

The annual Greenhouse Gas Market Report by the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) was also launched for the first time this year at the Carbon Forum Asia. The 2011 Greenhouse Gas Market Report is focused on Asia, and recognises the rise of the Asia Pacific region in the global carbon market.

The report covers topics such as Australia’s new emissions trading laws, New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme, and the development of policies, markets and carbon trading in South Korea, Taiwan, China, Japan, and India.

Carbon Forum Asia 2011 is part of the 4th Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) 2011, which takes place from 31 October to 4 November. SIEW is the leading platform for senior policymakers, industry leaders and academics to deliberate and exchange perspectives, strategies and solutions to major issues impacting the global energy agenda.

Image: Carbon Forum Asia

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