SHARM EL-SHEIKH (November 9, 2022) - Today at the COP27 climate negotiations in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, the U.S. State Department along with The Rockefeller Foundation and the Bezos Earth Fund announced the creation of the Energy Transition Accelerator, a program designed to generate funding through voluntary market carbon credits to help developing countries transition to cleaner sources of energy.  

Following is a quote from Ani Dasgupta, President & CEO, World Resources Institute: 

“Rapidly decarbonizing the power system around the world is fundamental to tackling the climate crisis. The newly launched Systems Change Lab data platform shows that the world must phase out coal six times faster than current rates to limit catastrophic climate impacts. The current mechanisms and levels of funding will not deliver the just energy transition in developing countries at the speed and scale necessary. We need new thinking and creative solutions to make it happen. 

“We appreciate that the U.S. State Department is pursuing an innovative approach to scaling up investments and private capital to accelerate developing countries' transition to cleaner energy. Done right, leveraging voluntary carbon markets can help unlock billions of dollars from the private sector to accelerate the energy transition.  

It is encouraging that U.S. climate envoy John Kerry is committed to assembling a group of respected experts to further flesh out this program. This process has to ensure guardrails for how companies participate and that the funding advances developing countries’ own priorities for a just energy transition, as detailed in the new report from the UN High-Level Expert Group on Net-Zero Emissions Commitments. 

“There is a reason that carbon offsets have been associated with greenwashing, which must absolutely be avoided. I agree wholeheartedly with UNSG António Guterres that the only credible pathway to reaching net-zero starts with companies making deep emissions reductions within their own operations and value chains. At the same time, we very much welcome companies investing in high-quality carbon credits that promote climate action beyond their value chain while generating much-needed funding to hasten the energy transition in developing countries. “The United States must deploy all tools in its toolbox to accelerate the shift to clean energy in developing countries, and a well-designed Energy Transition Accelerator can be one of them. Other critical tools include fully delivering on the Biden administration’s $11.4 billion annual climate finance commitment, reforming international financial institutions to unleash hundreds of billions of dollars in additional funds for climate action, and continuing to pool financial resources – including grants -- to accelerate just energy transition partnerships with developing countries.”