APEC Summit a fitting backdrop for flagship ANGEA project launch

It was a great privilege for the Asia Natural Gas and Energy Association (ANGEA) to launch our flagship Asia Pacific Cross Border Carbon Accreditation Study on the sidelines of the APEC CEO Summit in San Francisco.

For an organisation that is still fairly new, ANGEA’s attendance at an APEC event is a strong endorsement of the work we are undertaking to support governments, industries and companies in Asia during the energy transition

In relation to the Carbon Accreditation Study, we believe it will have true global impact and we were grateful for the opportunity to launch it before a group of highly influential international stakeholders.

I’ve said previously that Asia cannot get to net zero without the support of the rest of the world and that the world itself will not achieve net zero without great progress in Asia. A functioning, harmonised and trusted carbon market that operates effectively across Asia Pacific will help connect both those scenarios.

You can read more details about the Carbon Market Framework Project here but its core aim is to build understanding and consensus in the Asia Pacific region for a cross border carbon reduction accreditation system.

Both the International Energy Agency and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have acknowledged that practical pathways to global net zero must involve scaled-up deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS). The role of CCS in will be especially significant to decarbonisation in Asia, given large and globally significant industrial clusters in our region and energy demand that is set to more than double by 2050.

But the implementation of CCS in Asia will inevitably involve cross-border trade of CO2 because many of the countries that capture carbon will then have to transport it elsewhere for storage. This is where some of the complexities start to arise.

If, for example, you were to capture CO2 in Japan and transport it to offshore Malaysia for storage, which country would be credited with the emissions reduction under its Nationally Determined Contribution?

Which bodies would be responsible for accrediting the emissions reduction? What standards and accreditation would be used? How would governments ratify carbon credits? How would double-counting be avoided? How would certification be applied in different jurisdictions?

These are all questions that are essential to the operation of a carbon market in Asia Pacific and which our two-year program will address.

ANGEA and its member companies are delighted to have Boston Consulting Group (BCG) managing the first phase of the project, a one-year study that will involve working with key stakeholders to build a full picture of current carbon policy and identify what best practice will look like from a whole-of-region and transborder perspective. BCG brings extensive experience working with CCS and also throughout Asia Pacific.

Following the completion of the study, ANGEA and its member companies will then work with governments, industries and other stakeholders in Asia Pacific to further develop, test and start implementing its recommendations.

Like energy transition itself, the development and implementation of a regional framework for an Asia Pacific carbon market will be an incremental process. It won’t be a matter of waking up one day and suddenly finding it fully in place.

But the work is extremely important and the positive impact of the various components of the framework will be widely felt. Indeed, they will have global benefits.

Launching alongside the APEC CEO Summit not only meant announcing our project in front of stakeholders from government and industry but at an event attended by the presidents of the US, China, Indonesia, Korea, Chile, Peru, Vietnam and the Philippines and the prime ministers of Canada, Malaysia and Thailand.

Given the importance of functioning carbon markets to achieving the stated net zero goals of each of those countries, it really did feel like a fitting forum at which to launch ANGEA’s project.

ANGEA was formed three years ago to help nations in Asia Pacific access the energy they need to continue economic growth while also making progress on climate objectives.

The Asia Pacific Cross Border Carbon Accreditation Study will support that balance.

Paul Everingham is the inaugural CEO of the Asia Natural Gas and Energy Association (ANGEA), which works with governments, society and industry throughout Asia to build effective and integrated energy policies that meet each country’s climate objectives.