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COP28 Diary, 5th December 2023, Carbon Credit Markets Special.

News from Dubai. COP28 midway.

The day.

Capture de Opportunity: The role of carbon removals in addressing the global stocktake” was the first panel we attended today, about the role of carbon removable technologies and how to ensure that engineered carbon removals are accelerated. Panelists: Ross McKenzie (Drax Group, Tanuj Bandal (Sustainable Markets Initiative, Olivia Powis (Carbon Capture and Storage Association CCSA, Brennan Spellacy (Patch and Diane Holdorf (World Business Council for Sustainable Development WBCSD, moderated by Nina Skorupska (Renewable Energy Association

Here is what was said:

  • (Ross) A huge challenge. 99% removed by trees. Rest only is Direct Removal (DR) and Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BEECS). Role of governments is vital. Some progress like IRA in United States.

  • (Olivia) Steps: develop technology, skills and public support.

  • (Brennan) Revert 2 cost curves. Hard cost, to deliver (engineering). Soft cost, coordination, information and people. And get a software to control.

  • (Diane) Fundamental challenge: credibility! Need to de-risk to attract investments. NBS is at the frontline today. “Same challenges of the VCM: how to present itself”.

  • (Nina) “This trust element will be key”.

  • (Ross) “BECCS may help”.

  • (Nina)“Like when the battery was invented in the past”.

  • (Ross) “Oman will be the first to put CCS in its NDC. Why was not US, UK or Canada”.

At the end, Diane recommended the guide from her organisation “Removing carbon responsibly”, emphasising the steps towards credibility: taxonomy, decision principles, frameworks. “To help us go faster, get faster investment decisions, of significant investments, both the amount of money as well as location decision”.

Then, “Brazil: Press Briefing” with Sonia Guajajara (Minister of Indigenous People), André Corrêa do Lago (Brazil Chief Negotiator at COP28), João Paulo Capobianco (Deputy Minister of Environment and Climate Change) e Ana Toni (National Secretary for Climate Change).

  • (Guajajara) Brazil brought the largest indigenous delegation to this COP. Indigenous people represent 5% of the world's population taking care of 82% of the world's biodiversity.

  • (Capobianco) Focus on deforestation, the cause of 48% of emissions. Reported reductions.

  • (Corrêa do Lago) I am a strong believee in science. “Brazil will go for an ambitious Global Stocktake, linked to the its NDC”.

Then the Q&As with reporters.

Q) (Deutsche Welle) Brazil will support phase out of oil?

A) (Corrêa do Lago) Two perspectives. International debate is not structured yet (solutions, consumption). Within Brazil we have many options (fortunately) and will debate. One perspective influencing the other.

Q) (Folha) Seven times more representatives from the oil industry than indigenous people.

A) (Guajajara) Evolution, increased protagonism. “There were only 5 indigenous groups in my first COP participation years ago”. Now are 100 from Brazil from a total of 300 at COP28.

Q) (Greenpeace) Only focusing on deforestation will be enough for the 1,5°C? What about Brazil entering into OPEC+?

A) (Capobianco) (Apologies to our readers, we missed the contents. It was a brief answer)

Q) (CNN Brasil) Colombia signed the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. Would Brazil consider the same?

A) (Capobianco) We need to see from a more ample and viable perspective. For instance, we have biofuels and green hydrogen.

Q) (International media) Why did Brazil choose to discuss trade tax such as CBAM here, instead of at the WTO?

A) (Correa do Lago). First, because at ECO92 in Rio we agreed that no countries would create taxes on environmental issues. Second, because at WTO they say this topic is to be discussed at COP.

Q) (Valor Econômico) Why this Brazilian focus on the Global Stocktake?

A1) (Ana Toni) To give more transparency etc.

A2) (Corrêa do Lago) To emphasise the urgency. And our ambition.

Q) (International media) What is the status of the Brazilian Carbon Law?

A) (Ana Tony) Optimistic and happy with the emphasis on integrity. Important to see how the two markets will work together. Hopefully approved still during COP.

Before we close the day.

There was the recommendation / opportunity to go to the Green Zone and visit the Pavilion of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and get to know the Saudi Green Initiative.

It’s a commitment to rehabilitate 40 million hectares of land and restore Saudi Arabia’s natural greenery, by planting 10 billion trees. Give a look yourself.

At the pavilion, the indication that 41 million trees were already planted. REDD+ carbon credits coming soon from Saudi Arabia? They are part of the 100+ countries that committed to afforestation.


And another topic presented at the pavilion and not common for many countries: the need to desalinise sea water in order to have it potable. Saudi has a new pilot project for the coming 2 years of a desalinisation plant that will run on solar, wind and hydrogen. (recall here our post about hydrogen in Saudi Arabia). From the brine extracted from the sea water, they extract several minerals, including potassium (K), an important fertiliser needed by several countries.

Last but not least, similar to the United Arab Emirates as mentioned in our COP28 Diary from yesterday, Saudi Arabia is also with an active program of cloud seeding.

PS1. Carbon Credit Markets already posted about greening the desert in the Arabic Peninsula. Give a look.

PS2. Someone told us that the Middle East is importing containers of rich soil from other countries, for local production of e.g. fruits and vegetables. A topic to be continued.

People and paparazzi

We think we are getting used to the celebrities. Do not recall having seen any today.

But hold on. There are something, yes. Today was Indigenous Peoples Day at COP28.

And we saw quite a lot of their representatives, people with indigenous headdress (including one also wearing a suit !), among other traditional clothing and colourful ornaments. Beautiful.

COP28 Indigenous Peoples Day. By CarbonCreditMarkets
COP28 Indigenous Peoples Day. By CarbonCreditMarkets

And more towards the end of the day, as the temperature was milder and we were already at the Green Zone, we went for a coffee. As you may recall, Green Zone is open for the public. And the atmosphere was happy and noise, even with small children around, with their ice creams. Like in a park. Bikes and electric scooters and golf carts are also part of the “traffic” at the Green Zone, sometimes hectic, in spite of the special lanes for such vehicles. It was not once that we were almost run over by one of these golf carts, as these “lanes” as part of the pedestrian ways.

Our key takeaways

Public understanding and support. We are going though historical processes. Similar to when the battery entered people’s lives. Or when you first heard the word “renewable energy”. Now we hear “carbon capture” and “carbon credits”. And about countries, attention: there are new global protagonists.

Greening the desert is a reality. As well as seeding clouds for rain and importing fertile soil from other countries.

COP or the World Trade Organisation? Where to discuss taxes such as the CBAM?

COP28 Backstage. By CarbonCreditMarkets
COP28 Backstage. 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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