NASSAU, BAHAMAS — U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for climate John Kerry yesterday acknowledged the fallout of cryptocurrency exchange FTX may have left a “bad taste” in the mouths of some investors looking to enter the blue carbon credits markets.
However, he told Eyewitness News yesterday that despite the current liquidation of FTX he believes investor confidence remains for carbon credits to thrive and be a game changer.
Kerry is engaged in bilateral talks with the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads this week for the 44th Regular Meeting.
“Well you are absolutely correct that there were some problems with the way it was implemented earlier and it left a bad taste in some people’s mouths,” Kerry said.
“On the other hand, it’s given us a framework for what we need to do to make it work.”
The government revealed last year its intention to create a token based on carbon credit performance with FTX, however, that did not materialize before the implosion of one of the largest crypto exchanges.
The Climate Change and Carbon Market Initiatives Bill, 2022, passed in April, provides for The Bahamas to utilize three options for participating in the carbon market: a bilateral or multilateral trading agreement; trade with a private entity; or participate in a voluntary carbon market.
Kerry insisted that despite this setback carbon credits are still a viable option.
“We need strong environmental integrity, we don’t want greenwashing, we don’t want double counting. We want these to be credits that can absolutely be measured and there is real accountability and transparency,” he said.
“We’re working on that right now with environmental groups, with a lot of stakeholders at the table so that everyone’s being listened to and we can come up with a protocol that works.”
The high-ranking U.S. official added that he remains confident about the carbon credit markets’ ability to be a contributor to the efforts aimed at combatting climate change.
“It’s not going to solve the whole problem overnight but it could bring money, capital to the table that can then be used to help in The Bahamas and other parts of the Caribbean,” he said.
“For those countries that can’t otherwise deploy certain things…This could help to provide the seed capital and concessionary funding that de-risks the investment and attracts other private capital to come to the table.”
It was reported that The Bahamas has one of the largest seagrass meadows in the world, potentially representing up to nine million blue carbon credits.
Kerry added: “We are going to unleash really a new moment of progress within the environmental challenges that we face. I’m very hopeful and I still believe in its success.”