Fira de Barcelona
Fira de Barcelona

Midway between Cancun and Durban, CARBON EXPO brings together market players to discuss an uncertain future


Source: Fira de Barcelona

Fighting climate change is about global action

Barcelona -- With more than 121 countries participating in this year's 8th edition,  CARBON EXPO - the leading trade fair and conference for climate finance, emissions trading and carbon abatement technologies - is again demonstrating its global reach and showcasing cutting edge mitigation initiatives. The annual event is jointly organized by the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), the World Bank and Fira Barcelona and draws over 3,000 participants each year to discuss and debate the latest in climate and carbon finance.

Both developed and developing countries will talk about their achievements to date and what lies in store. In addition to financial institutions, green technology manufacturers and carbon brokers, more than 40 Host Country Committee members will be participating in CARBON EXPO, presenting the developing country perspective on panels throughout the conference. They are also hosting booths at the Trade Fair and see it as an opportunity to discuss concrete projects and investment opportunities.

Large developing countries are taking the lead in tackling climate change using market instruments. China, for example, will be well represented and delegates will have an opportunity to learn about its plans for low carbon development through national low carbon initiatives. Germany, one of the most industrialized countries in the world, will also explain its current and future carbon policies. The German Federal Ministry for the Environment and the German Emissions Trading Authority will host a German Pavilion.

This year, CARBON EXPO is held at a time when carbon markets have been disappointing and signals are not encouraging.

'The carbon market beyond 2012 is fraught with uncertainty', said Andrew Steer, Special Envoy for the World Bank. 'This must not continue. We must find a way to ensure a stronger, more robust carbon market with clear signals. This will help lower the cost of addressing climate change and bring technology and poverty-reducing benefits to low income countries,' he said. 'Today, CARBON EXPO has evolved into the premier event in the international calendar to help find climate finance solutions'.

With UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres making the opening remarks at CARBON EXPO, delegates will look for heartening words and an optimistic outlook. In the subsequent Roundtable talks, she will be joined by high-level panelists at the session 'From carbon finance to climate finance - Are we getting there?' covering current global and domestic, public and private sector action to support the transition from carbon finance to climate finance.

'CARBON EXPO 2011 in Barcelona is this year focusing on bringing carbon into the broader picture of climate finance and technology for green growth', said Agustín Cordón, CEO of Fira Barcelona. 'CARBON EXPO's Trade Fair will once again bring together thousands of participants from both developing and developed countries, and match project developers with sources of finance. The conference increases its reputation every year as the premier global meeting place for experts and stakeholders in the politically exciting, economically attractive and environmentally indispensable business of controlling greenhouse gas emissions'.

Launch of the World Bank's 'State and Trends of the Carbon Market Report' and IETA's 'GHG Market Sentiment Report'
Across the world, emissions trading faced a challenging year in 2010. Primarily driven by a combination of a continued economic recession, failure of the global carbon market to develop as quickly as expected, slow progress in international negotiations, and lack of support for federal legislations in the U.S., Japan and Australia, the carbon market turned its attention to local initiatives, including the California cap-and-trade scheme, and national low-carbon initiatives in developing economies, such as Brazil, China and India.

At a press conference to discuss these issues, the World Bank and IETA will present two reports that discuss the current views of the carbon market and the challenges that exist.

'The main constraint to the carbon market post-2012 will be a lack of demand for carbon credits beyond the deals that are now being implemented. This could be a missed opportunity for both developed and developing countries to benefit from market instruments to mobilize resources and engage the private sector in climate action', said Alexandre Kossoy, Senior Financial Specialist at the World Bank. 'Given the size and urgency of the climate challenge, an immediate and well-balanced package of policies and regulations, concessional finance, and private sector capital is needed to deploy commercially non-viable low carbon technologies, as well as to support the development of new technologies towards a low-carbon society'.

Although the long-term uncertainties surrounding the carbon market have taken its toll on market confidence, in the minds of companies the idea of a price on carbon and flexibility in the application of carbon regulation is still very much alive. The challenge to find a politically acceptable and financially sound agreement beyond 2012 continues, hoping that current difficulties do not affect the urgent need to address the climate challenge at scale.

'Whatever today's political twists and turns, the future will inevitably be carbon-constrained. This will impact business in most sectors of the global economy. So IETA is delighted to launch the 2011 edition of our GHG Market Sentiment Report at CARBON EXPO,' said Henry Derwent, President & CEO of IETA. 'This is our sixth survey of the views of major players in the carbon market, and we believe these results provide an important barometer of carbon market opinion - not only of past and current performance, but expectations of the future from the people who will shape that future'.

Both reports cover a range of important policy and investment-related issues that will impact the market design all around. These include the reform and extension of the CDM, changes in the EU ETS, and continued negotiations for a post-2012 international agreement, alongside the creation of numerous domestic carbon markets.

For the full agenda of events, please see:

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