Environment is an externality to business, as it is shared by all, and if one tries make its maximum use, other is impacted. This is why smart and sustainable management of environmental resources is extremely important for stakeholders of both categories, one who tries to use them and other who is impacted by its use. This helps adding great value to the society as a whole. The sustainable use is ensured by various policy measures, including standards, penalties/taxes and market-based instruments incentivizing the sustainable use. On global front, these measures are selected according to suitability of circumstances.
When it comes to MENA countries, and in particular GCC countries, energy is abundantly available here. GCC region in particular is the largest producer and exporter of Oil and Gas in the world, and consequentially has large carbon foot prints. Regional economies are growing and with the growth come responsibility. The regional governments are focusing on achieving low-carbon economies while taking care of all the dimensions of sustainable development. Most of MENA countries are signatories to Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and Kigali Amendment of phase out of HFC gases. Some of the GCC countries (e.g. State of Qatar) have also signed ICAO’s Global Market-Based Measure for reduction of CO2 emissions in international aviation. There is a clear need of adequate policy measures, tools and capacities to fulfill the promises that we have made to ourselves and to the world.
Gulf Organisation for Research and Development (GORD) was established on 23rd July 2009, led by a team of highly skilled and committed experts in energy, environment, carbon, and sustainable building technologies. GORD provides a range of services for MENA region, including green building standards setting, facilitation for standards implementation, certification of building sustainability, renewable energy research, capacity building in sustainability and various sustainability policy advices to governments and businesses. GORD believes in developing capacity and designing policy measures to create an enabling environment for sustainability. This is why GORD has invested years of efforts in developing and implementing the sustainability standards and advocating their enforcement. Now the time is ripe for market-based instruments, especially to take regional actions on climate change. Markets have proven their usefulness in catalyzing and accelerating climate actions at international levels.
The Gulf Carbon Trust (GCT), GORD’s Centre for Excellence, establishes region’s first-of-its-kind voluntary carbon market facility built based on the specific needs of the region. GCT is coming at an opportune time when there are several climate success stories are built up globally and years of hard work under climate negotiations is generating fruits, as discussed above. This policy initiative aims to: generate high quality emission reductions and avoidances; and, help governments and regional businesses to come forward and build together a low-carbon and sustainable future for the region. GCT also intends to provide climate policy advisory and capacity building services for the governments and businesses.
With the guidance of the enlightened leaderships and support of stakeholders, GCT promises to work out a way forward into a low-carbon future that is safe, healthy and sustainable for our future generations. I urge you to come forward and help us in delivering this promise. Join the climate action movement now.