UN Carbon Credit Market Can Be Run by Bureaucrats, Sealy Says

Officials operating the United Nations market for carbon offsets are fighting to prove they can deliver as much as a 10-fold increase in credits, board member Hugh Sealy said.

“Some people believe you can’t run a market under UN bureaucrats,” Sealy said in an interview in Cologne, Germany. “We’ve been doing it.”

Investors including Gareth Phillips, chief climate change officer at Sindicatum Carbon Capital, said yesterday that the board will struggle to boost the volume of permits being issued. Phillips suggested the board focus on projects in the poorest countries and that the UN should draw up a new process for generating carbon credits in greater volumes.

“The board has woken up to the fact that if we don’t reform, we’ll be consigned to a boutique process,” Sealy said.

The executive board of the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism issues credits to companies in the developing world for reducing their carbon emissions. European energy companies and manufacturers buy the so-called offsets to comply with European climate law.

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