Bahrain makes pitch for regional carbon market

If the Mena region is to develop a thriving carbon market and meet its ambition to be a global hub for decarbonisation and sustainable finance, it must develop a more robust market infrastructure and provide more transparency on the use of carbon credits.

This was the conclusion that came from a roundtable debate during a conference held in Bahrain designed to promote the region’s carbon market.

The event was hosted by Bahrain’s Supreme Council for Environment and featured a combination of government officials, sustainability experts and finance and investment professionals.

“We need to use every tool at our disposal to address the threat posed by climate change to our region and the world,” said Riham AlGizy, chief executive of Regional Voluntary Carbon Market Company, a joint venture between Saudi bourse Tadawul and sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund.

“Voluntary carbon markets complement direct emissions reductions by enabling organisations to compensate for their carbon emissions,” said AlGizy.

The roundtable also addressed the role of asset managers in supporting a regional carbon market and helping to meet the increased investor interest in decarbonisation projects.

However, the carbon market has had to deal with criticism in recent months from climate advocates over the lack of transparency and effectiveness of carbon credits.

“Carbon markets are a valuable tool to support the needed transition to net zero in the Middle East, but to fulfil their potential, we need to see an increase in the supply of high-quality carbon credits, improved market infrastructure and supportive policy and regulatory frameworks,” said Venetia Bell, group chief sustainability officer, Gulf International Bank.

©2023 funds global mena

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