US-led carbon initiative misses launch date

  • : Coal, Electricity, Emissions
  • 24/04/23

The Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA), a global initiative to use voluntary carbon market revenue to speed the decarbonization of developing countries' power sectors, has missed its planned Earth Day launch but continues to prepare for doing business.

At the Cop 28 climate conference in Dubai last year, the initiative's leaders said they hoped to formally launch the program on 22 April 2024.

That didn't happen, but the program's leaders last week announced that the US climate think tank Center for Climate and Energy Solutions will serve as the ETA's new secretariat and that former US special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry will serve as the honorary chair of an eight-member senior consultative group that will advise the ETA's design and operations.

The ETA plans to spend 2024 "building" on a framework for crediting projects they released last year. ETA leaders said the initiative could ultimately generate tens of billions of dollars in finances through 2035.

The ETA also said the Dominican Republic had formed a government working group to "guide its engagement" as a potential pilot country for investments and that the Philippines would formally participate as an "observer country" rather than as a direct participant immediately. The ETA is still engaging Chile and Nigeria as potential pilot countries too, the initiative told Argus.

The ETA is being developed by the US State Department, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Bezos Earth Fund and would be funded with money from the voluntary carbon market. The initiative's ultimate goal is to allow corporate and government offset buyers to help developing countries decarbonize their power sectors through large projects that accelerate the retirement of coal-fired power plants and build new renewable generation.

As of now, the ETA's timeline for future changes and negotiations with countries and companies is unclear. The program's goals are ambitious, especially at a time when scrutiny of some voluntary carbon market projects from environmentalists has weighed on corporate offset demand.

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