U.S. Climate Envoy Kerry discusses a carbon offset program for developing countries

U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry outlined the core principles of a high-integrity carbon offset plan to aid developing countries in their energy transition. The next steps include establishing a consultative body.

To mobilize private capital, the United States is working with the Rockefeller Foundation and Bezos Earth Fund to develop the Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA). It was first revealed at the COP27 climate conference last year.

Kerry stated that Kerry was aiming to make bankable deals in order to reduce emissions. He stressed the fact that the ETA would not be a replacement for existing funding sources, and that it was a time-limited tool.

He said that he believes you could have high-integrity credit, which is transparent and accountable. This will allow us to make some money, despite widespread opposition to voluntary carbon offset programs.

These schemes allow companies to receive emissions credits for cashing out poor countries that reduce their carbon output. However, these schemes are often fraught with fraud and double counting.

Kerry stated that there are two reasons why someone can buy credit. One, it’s to close down an existing fossil fuel facility providing power or to transition to renewables.

He stated that the ETA principles required a comprehensive, near-term approach in order to achieve broader sustainable development goals as well as support for power sector-wide energy transformation.

On Sunday, the Rockefeller Foundation published a statement that was jointly prepared with a preliminary listing of members of ETA High-Level Consultative Group. Kerry stated that this group would offer broad inputs and add additional participants.

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