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UAE's financial freezone ADGM offsets 2021 carbon emissions with help of AirCarbon


ADGM becomes first carbon neutral financial center: AirCarbon

ADGM purchased carbon offsets from Indonesia project

UAE has committed to zero emissions by 2050

  • Author
  • Dania Saadi
  • Editor
  • Jonathan Loades-Carter
  • Commodity
  • Energy Transition Energy Transition The Path to Net Zero

The UAE's Abu Dhabi Global Market, the financial free-zone in the capital, has partnered with Singapore-based AirCarbon Exchange to offset its carbon emissions in 2021 as part of the country's commitment to zero emissions by 2050.

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AirCarbon or ACX helped enable ADGM to be the world's first carbon neutral international financial center, it said in a Feb. 24 statement. ACX, which bundles carbon credits from different projects into a single instrument that can be traded on its digital platform, recently established a presence in Abu Dhabi.

"The Net-Zero Carbon partnership between ACX and ADGM involved calculating and offsetting the carbon footprint of ADGM for 2021 and the 4th Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum 2022 to achieve carbon neutrality for the finance hub," AirCarbon said.

"The ADGM offset was transacted on the ACX platform and included the purchase and retirement of carbon credits from the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve Project based in Borneo, Indonesia."

The S&P Global Platts Nature-based Carbon Credits was assessed on Feb. 23 at $13.65/ mt CO2e, a 2.2% drop on the day.

Zero emissions by 2050

Carbon offsets are gaining traction in the UAE, which is the first country in the Middle East to commit to zero emissions by 2050.

"As a hub for sustainable finance, ADGM is committed to supporting the energy transition and the UAE's Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative," Juma al-Hameli, chief of staff at ADGM, said in the statement.

Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad Airways, the second biggest carrier in the UAE and the first airline in the Middle East to announce net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, is working on boosting its offsets program, Mariam al-Qubaisi, the head of sustainability and business excellence told S&P Global Platts last year.

In 2020, Etihad started off its carbon offsets program with 80,000 mt and was expanded in 2021 with at least an extra 10,000 mt. The expanded program is being supported by Shell and Etihad is exploring adding other providers of offsets, Qubaisi said at the time.

The expanded offsets program will help neutralize the CO2 emissions of its Greenliner 787-10 aircraft for 2021.