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Carbon Market Talks Ongoing at COP26

Discussions about international carbon markets have faced some challenges at COP26. The US and EU expressed concerns about the proposed transaction tax on carbon trading. Proceeds of this tax would support nations that are the most impacted by climate change.

It is reported that US officials feel such a plan is not feasible. They are concerned that the federal government will end up having to foot the bill for such taxes.

While all nations can agree that the global offset market needs to become more transparent and that verification processes (and standards) should improve, there are two competing thoughts:

1.) Create a bilateral carbon credit exchange that could help countries meet national targets.
2.) Create a global marketplace for trading offsets.

Norway and Singapore seem to be trying to get nations on board with merging the two.

About the discussions, Norwegian Climate and Environment Minister Espen Barth Eide was quoted as saying that “It’s difficult.” Though there is “a can-do mood.”

The global carbon market is currently valued at $100 billion – up from just $300 million in 2018. Some project it could reach $22 trillion by 2050.

While the carbon market can help reduce emissions, improve the environment, and spark economies across the globe, critics feel that the industry does little to encourage net-zero emissions.

World leaders disagree.

Yes, the industry has its flaws, but carbon offsets are integral in the fight against climate change. If they weren’t, the heavy focus on the offset industry at COP26 wouldn’t be taking place.

Contrary to what critics may say, offsets were never designed to be the only way to combat climate change. However, when used alongside technological advances, and increased regulation, they play a significant role.

It will be an environmental win if nations can figure out how to make the global carbon market work for all.  Leaders have until Friday.

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