Asia Pacific Cross Border Carbon Accreditation Study

A regional regulatory framework for Asia Pacific that supports cross border trade of CO2 is vital to achieve net zero.

About this project

The  Carbon Certification for Cross-Border CCS Study aims to build consensus and understanding across Asia Pacific towards a regulatory and policy framework that will guide how C02 emission reductions are accredited and certified across the region. It will also support the cross-border transport of captured CO2. 

The two-year project is being led by the Asia Natural Gas and Energy Association and its first phase – a year-long study built around engagement with key stakeholders – will be undertaken by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

Who we are

Established in 2021, the Asia Natural Gas And Energy Association (ANGEA) works with governments and industry to help Asian nations reach their environmental, economic, and social objectives, and to help ensure the critical role of gas alongside renewables in Asia Pacific’s energy mix.

Our membership comprises large global energy companies covering the entire gas supply chain. These members are at the forefront of efforts to develop low carbon energy solutions that will help drive Asia (and the world) towards a net zero future. 

Your questions about the carbon certification study answered

The ability to capture, transport, store and trade carbon will be absolutely essential to decarbonisation in Asia Pacific and, building from that, the world’s progress towards net zero. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is already proven from a technical perspective but regulatory frameworks required to underpin its implementation at scale – including accreditation of emissions reductionsare lagging behind the physical development of the technology and often vary from country-to-country. This program seeks to harmonise regional standards and policies covering accreditation or certification of CO2 emissions reductions in order to unlock the full potential of CCS. 

It’s still early in the process and we’ll be announcing more details as the parameters around the study start to take shape. But we envision it will  involve detailed engagement with governments, industries and other stakeholders around Asia Pacific to build a full picture of current carbon policy in the region and identify what best practice will look like from a whole-of-region and transborder perspective. This is a very significant undertaking, one that hasn’t been embarked on before and which will very much help shape Asia Pacific’s energy future.

Some key focusses of the study will likely emerge as engagement starts with stakeholders. But there are others that can be identified from the outset. These include which bodies will be responsible for accreditation, what standards and accreditation will be used, how governments will ratify carbon credits, how double-counting of credits can be avoided and how certification might be applied in different jurisdictions. Given the cross-border nature of carbon exchanges, it will be essential to answer questions around which country should take credit under its National Determined Contribution – the nation that produces and captures it, or the one that receives and then stores it? 

Economies and energy demand are growing rapidly in many parts of Asia Pacific, particularly Southeast Asia. By 2050, Asia Pacific is expected to account for 50 per cent of global GDP and also 50 per cent of the world’s energy use. As a region, most electricity generation in Asia still comes from high-emitting coal. There is a widespread appetite to switch to gas-fired power to support growing investment in renewables, but although gas produces up to 60 per cent less emissions than coal, it too has an emissions profile that requires management. Asia Pacific is also home to significant and hard-to-abate industrial clusters Carbon capture and storage (CCS) provides an avenue for nations to continue to meet the critical energy needs of communities and industries, while making progress on climate aspirations. But scaling up CCS in Asia will be different to the US and Europe and it can’t happen without an appropriate and trusted region-wide regulatory framework that supports cross-border trade of CO2.

We envision the study aspect taking a year, which gives an indication of the scope of the work involved and its complexity. Overall, we‘re planning a two-year program: the first year of the study will be about identifying what the best practice and most practical example of a regional framework will look like and then the 12 months to follow will involve working with governments, industries and key stakeholders to further develop, test and start implementing it. Much like energy transition itself, the development and implementation of an Asia Pacific carbon framework will be an incremental process. It won’t be a matter of waking up one day and suddenly finding it fully in place. But there will be important milestones and developments over the next two years that will be part of the pathway to realising a functioning, region-wide framework. 

When you are working on a vast regional project like this one there will always be the potential for competing interests among stakeholders. But if you look at the type of work we are undertaking and its scope, there are also clear and significant areas of mutual benefit. The biggest of them is that cross-border accreditation of CO2 emissions will be crucial to widespread implementation of carbon capture and storage, which in turn will help countries throughout the region reduce emissions to achieve the targets set under the Paris Agreement. On another level there are some countries in Asia Pacific who are eager to capture carbon but don’t have the geological capacity to store it, and other countries who have storage capacity and will be willing recipients of CO2. A regional carbon framework will support these countries working together to establish CCS value chains and realise new economic opportunities throughout Asia Pacific.  

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