Green Trading' arrives in the Middle East AGT opens the region's first carbon trading organisation
Carbon trading comes to the Middle East.
- (1888PressRelease) June 08, 2011 - Trading of the world's fastest growing commodity is now available in the region for the first time, with London-based carbon trading organisation, Advanced Global Trading (AGT), launching operations to directly service the Middle East.
AGT today opened its regional headquarters in Dubai, with its traders attempting to convince increasingly environmentally-conscious investors in the region to consider ethical alternatives and potentially benefit from strong returns in the process.
As of April 2010, 191 states including the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait, had signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol, aimed at fighting global warming. According to the World Bank the global carbon trading market is now worth a phenomenal US$144 billion, up six per cent from 2008 despite the global downturn, and is expected to grow to over US$1 trillion by 2025. Helping the environment is now big business, with carbon credits being traded around the world by both corporate and private investors looking to profit from the carbon market boom.
And carbon or 'green' trading is a hot topic in the region, with Dubai's Carbon Centre of Excellence recently unveiling plans to offset five million tonnes of carbon annually. High carbon producing companies, including DEWA, Dubal and Enoc, have also announced they are considering carbon-emission reduction quotas as part of a voluntary joint initiative.
Carbon credits are similar to certificates that represent a reduction of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere with one carbon credit the equivalent to a saving of one tonne of CO2. Projects that prevent the generation of greenhouse gasses or remove these gasses from the atmosphere earn these credits, which can then be sold to other businesses and individuals to offset the emissions they generate.
AGT is an industry-leader in sourcing and trading carbon credits, specialising in the trading of Voluntary Emissions Reductions (VERs) in the dynamic over-the-counter green market.
AGT partner, Charles Stephenson, says: "Bringing green trading to the Middle East was an easy decision as it's both ethical and profitable and the region, which has profited heavily from the Energy industry, is the obvious market to encourage investors to make returns on their investments, while benefiting the environment."
The prices of carbon credits vary and can be volatile, creating the potential for large gains as demand grows, while also ensuring investors' money is put into emissions reducing projects worldwide. Each carbon credit bought finances a project that is verified to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This credit can then be sold to companies who need to comply with global targets, or to individuals who wish to profit from predicted price increases.
Stephenson explains how investing in carbon credits can directly help the environment, "Each step of the process is part of the chain that ultimately helps the environment by first creating the carbon credit and then eventually 'retiring' the credit against an emission.
"For example a renewable energy project, such as a wind farm, would need initial investment to get started, so it would be granted carbon credits against the projected emissions saving and the sale of these credits would be used to help repay the start-up loans.
"These credits may then be traded between investors before they are ultimately sold to companies or individuals who wish to offset their own emissions. Without each part of the life-cycle the credit volume would not be as high, so the number of projects created would be less and the cycle continues - so investors are a key part in the process," he says.
Stephenson adds: "The potential market for carbon credits is huge as, under the Kyoto Protocol, it's not just companies but governments that are forced to offset their emissions. Even outside of the agreement, many companies are buying carbon credits to improve their corporate social responsibility and gain a 'greener' reputation while diversifying their portfolios along the way."
With offices in London and now Dubai and further offices opening in Zurich, Salt Lake City, Miami, New York and Los Angeles, AGT currently employs over 40 traders.