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COP28 Diary, 3rd December 2023, Carbon Credit Markets Special.

News from Dubai. And lots of preciousnesses in the details below.

Before we start.

We are not talk about metro and queues today. The UNFCCC Apps alert from yesterday helped. We woke up earlier, so the metro as full, but not crowded. And there was a long line, but moving. Another busy, warm day. Slightly more humid. Other than that, chatting about cars with Danillo, a Brazilian business advisor established in Dubai, we realised that around here, the price range of an electric entry level Tesla (AED 179,900) would be equivalent to a top Toyota Camry (AED 159,000). And about half the price of a BMW 530i (AED 350,000), combustion engine. Interesting.

The day.

To start a Press Conference by the World Health Organisation. This COP28 was the first one to include health issues on its climate-related agenda. As we anticipated yesterday and reported a few days ago.

Here is what we heard this morning:

  • “Impact of climate change on our health is catastrophic”

  • “We don’t have 28 years for health to wait.”

  • “Transition from fossil fuels: also a serious health issue.”

  • “Objective is save lives.”

  • “Less than 1% of climate funds go to health. That needs to be multiplied. A lot.”

From there we run to listen to Al Gore, environmentalist and former vice president of the United States. “Al Gore and Climate TRACE Unveil Game-Changing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory”.

He had a surprise at the end … “for an accurate and more complete stocktake” (!!!). Transparency of free quality information.

What about individual details of over 352 million greenhouse emission spots around the globe? Data from several different ground and spacial open sources, appraized by dozens of different integrated techniques. And Artificial Intelligence. Want to know where the World’s highest-emitting oil & gas field is? Or the highest-emitting cement plant? Airport? Enteric fermentation source? Pipelines leaking? (note: these information seem to be already in use by some companies to reasses with suppliers should better be replaced).

Or would you believe that in Indonesia, emissions from deforestation and degradation declined by 56% and 87% respectively, from 2015 to 2022? And that in Congo there were also reductions, 7% and 19% respectively.

The tool also “adjusts official data to reality”. Official landfill in Mexico account for 55 million tonnes CO2e. Reality (e.g. adding “illegal landfills), more than doubles that number to 116 million. Also United States. There are 8,659 registered EPAs (a point of release into the outdoor atmosphere of air contaminants) , while the real number is over 6,000 times higher … over 54 million EPAs (!!!).

Ok, ok, I am already - enthusiastically - jumping into Al Gore’s "gran finale".

Before that he showed elaborated slides, sequentially strucuturing what most of us already know. And also adding new perspectives:

  • November 2023 was the hottest November on record. Like the last 10 years, continuously.

  • 2023, for the first time on record storms reached category 5 strength in every tropical ocean basin in the same year.

  • Energy released by man-made global warming pollution “equivalent to exploding “50,000 Hiroshina-class atomic bombs per day 365 days per year” (James Hansen from NASA)

  • “in the future … some regions uninhabitable, which will surely contribute to the pressure to migrate” (Jos Lelieveld from Max Planck Institute)

  • Forest fires are declining in the tropics but remain high and increasing in the northern countries. In 2022, US, Canada and Russia experienced higher rates of forest fires (Climate TRACE data)

So, according to Al Gore:

  • if 71 nations have submitted no data on emissions for any of the years covered by the stocktake

  • if 108 nations have submitted no inventories of emissions for any of the past five years

  • and no nations have submitted an emissions inventory for 2022 yet …

No problem. Climate TRACE Coalition is sharing all of that data, starting today:

  • a complete emissions stocktake of all 241 countries and regions.

  • historical record each year 2015-2022.

  • detailed breakdown by 53 sectors, including the 352 million individual assets mentioned above.

  • metadata including ownership facility type, production capacity, emissions intensity, level of activity, and uncertainty ranges.

  • easy to use, search, compare, aggregate and analyse. By specialists (that like even JSAON API) but also people like us, non-specialists. Concerned enthusiasts.

Take note:


  • All of the self-reporting in the world by corporations only adds up to 14% of global emissions (!!!!!). Would you call that the Armageddon Greenwashing?

Before concluding, he asked if recycling plastic would solve the problem, recalling that the main raw material of the petrochemical industry is oil. Then he was vocal, like António Guterrez, UN Secretary General: “Stop burning fossil fuels. Not reduce, Not abate. Phaseout”.


We were then able to attend What’s in the Watershed? , moderated by Dr. Christopher Puttock, Rotary COP28 Program Manager, and among the panelists, Mayor Mitch Reynolds, from Lacrosse, WI, elaborating on the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI), an alliance of mayors along the river. Regardless of political party. “Ultimately, MRCTI's work helps protect and restore the Mississippi River as a natural system that can support human culture and economies, as well as the River's unique ecosystem and wildlife.” Give a look.

Then we went to the Green Zone, the fabulous Pavilion from Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) for the panel “VCM as a Catalyst for Net Zero”, with William Pazos (CEO ACX), Carlos de Mathias Martins Junior (EQAO & Ecoinvest Brazil) and Vishwajit Dahanukar (ENVEX).

To warm the debate up. Aditya Sapru (ACX) disclosed the results of a survey with clients (which we would be glad to share as a separate Carbon Credit Markets post). Some quotes:

  • The learning curve of trading carbon credits, a huge potential in emerging markets, with Brazil strong at the offer side.

  • “The beauty of carbon markets is that it routes resources to eco-friendly and climate-favourable actions”

  • “When you buy carbon credits you buy reputation”.

  • “In spite of the integrity efforts, there will be always risks. As the main risk is reputational, Governments should step in.”

  • Example from Singapore: you can pay taxes partially with carbon credits. (serious responsibility).

  • CBAM (scrutiny) represents an opportunity.

  • Dubai: defined carbon credits in a very smart way: “environmental instrument”. (recall our post)

  • About COP28, high expectations on a blueprint of Article 6.

At the end of the panel, the CEO of ACX unveiled details and modus operandi of the Carbon Project Exchange for Future Carbon Tonnes (FCT). Intention is creating a secondary market for FCTs in a regulated market. As Corinne Boone, also from ACX posted on LinkedIn after the presentation, “Way to go ACX!! Much needed innovation in the carbon market!!”.

(Bio)Methane Credits. Maybe a simplified title for another panel we attended in the sequence “Integrated Waste Management Solutions as Instruments to keep the 1,5oC”, with the following panelists: Milton Pilão (Orizon Group), Carlos Silva Filho (International Solida Waste Association, ISWA), María Teresa Ruiz-Tagle V. (CLG-Chile), Lucas Ferraz (Brazil, São Paulo State Secretary of International Affairs) and Jiao Tang (Catalytic Finance).

Basically the great case of Orizon Group - give a look at their website - that in a partnership with ISWA and the Global Methane Hub (GMH) decided to “beat the triple crisis” with a “triple M initiative”. What does it mean ???

  • Triple crisis: climate change, pollution, biodiversity loss

  • Triple M initiative: Methane Mitigation Mechanism (waste management).

Intention is to validate the environmental attribute to the waste sector towards a methane credit, mapping risks and opportunities in the public-private relationship, attracting more financing, and ultimately establishing its own pricing scheme and stability, of different nature than carbon credits.

Orizon Group already generates 3 million tons of carbon credits / year, sold around $5, considered undervalued. According to Pilão, “efforts involved in a developing country is larger than e.g. Europe or United States.”

Closing, Mrs. Jiao Tang added “We intend to establish a Waste Fund. We don’t have a methane market yet. Impact base approach. Taxonomy is extremely important”.

Time to leave, already dark outside. But before that - given the combination suit and hot humidity today - maybe spend 5 minutes inside the “Plenary - Al Hairat< where AirCo is really strong (and is close to the main exit). Guess what? In there we could attend the final moments of the “1st Annual High-Level Ministerial Roundtable on Just Transition”, with the summary of discussions and closing remarks by H.E. Majid Al Suwaidi, Director General and Special Representative of COP28. Topics?

  1. What are the critical just transition priorities and actions at the national level to catalyse a systems transition by 2030 to keep the Paris Agreement goals, including the 1.5 °C goal, within reach?

  2. What are the actionable solutions, barriers, and opportunities in addressing the energy, socioeconomic, workforce and other dimensions of just transition?

  3. How can we work programme on just transition under the Paris Agreement support policy measures to promote/enable international economic cooperation, including trade, to address the implementation challenges and amplify the opportunities of the transitions so it can be ambitious, effective and leave no one behind?

Each country comments. A very long process of consensus building.

Time to go. But still, we meet a dinosaur, “a fossil to be".

Before we close the day.

For different reasons, we unfortunately missed the following events today:

  • - “Connecting the dots from the hydrogen economy”. To discuss the need for (1) creating demand and scaling up production (2) internationally recognised standard for addressing trade barriers, (3) overcoming challenges of building vital infrastructure along the hydrogen supply chain. A pity to coincide with another one.

  • - Biodiversity credits. “En passant” at IETA International Emissions Trading Association today, caught our attention someone in a panel mentioning “biodiversity credits”. We did not have time to stay, but took note of the panel’s name “Catalyzing Nature-Positive Action through Biodiversity Credits” and participating entities: Cercarbono and Environmental Markets Fairness Foundation

  • - World religious leaders came together to mark inauguration of first Faith Pavilion at COP28.

People and paparazzi

The day started with Becky Anderson sitting at our side, then joining Bill Gates in a (VIP) queue. She is an anchor of CNN International news.

Our key takeaways

“Impact of climate change on our health is catastrophic”

“With Climate TRACE, if you’re still thinking you can dump tons of pollution into the atmosphere and no one will know, you’ve run out of place to hide”.

“When you buy carbon credits you buy reputation”.

Beat the triple crisis - climate change, pollution, biodiversity loss - with a “triple M initiative”: Methane Mitigation Mechanism. Methane Credits.

COP28 Let's Fix Climate Finance. Photo by CarbonCreditMarkets
COP28 Let's Fix Climate Finance. Photo by CarbonCreditMarkets


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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