SYDNEY, Oct 12 Asia Pulse – The world’s first multi-billion dollar green marketplace was launched yesterday, aiming to connect buyers and sellers of a contentious – but likely lucrative – commodity, the environment.
The internet-based Ecosystem Marketplace is an online public forum, aiming to create a more efficient and transparent trade in environmental goods such as water rights and carbon credits, bringing together government agencies, communities and private enterprise from across the globe.
The site, to be up and running by the end of this year, will feature the details of prominent transactions and developments in regulation and policy, including European Union and Kyoto Protocol emissions requirements.
President of US-based non-profit group Forest Trends, Michael Jenkins said the Ecosystem Marketplace would be a `Bloomberg meets Google meets CNN’ for the emerging eco-trade market.
“The most immediate challenge to the rapid growth of these new markets is the lack of information and the lack of transparency,” Mr Jenkins told a conference on global environmental markets at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.
“(The Marketplace) will democratise information, lower transaction costs and catalyse transactions, covering critical policy regulatory and market developments.”
World Bank senior advisor on forest issues, David Cassells said the establishment of a central marketplace would help provide tangible income flows for developing countries, enabling them to sell environmental credit to first world industries.
“We’re very interested in the emergence of the marketplace…which will help mobilise sustainable capital for the people that really count,” Mr Cassells said.
Last week’s signing of the Kyoto protocol by Russia has put carbon credits – which companies can purchase to offset their greenhouse gas emissions (GGE) – at the top of every eco-trader’s list, Mr Jenkins said.
Quoting research by Deutsche Bank he said carbon could become the largest commodity market in the world with an overall value of at least $US60 billion by 2008.
“Russia’s signing of the Kyoto protocol will put into effect a global trading system for our carbon,” he said.
The protocol – requiring the 38 signatory nations to reduce their GGE to, on average, 5.2 per cent below 1990 levels, between 2008 and 2012 – was worth up to $US10 billion to the carbon market per year, Mr Jenkins said.
Director of carbon programs for Australian-based global forest investor Hancock Natural Resource Group David Brand said six million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents had been registered in NSW with the Independent pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), and that figure was projected to rise to 10-15 million tonnes in the next three years.
He said Australia had the potential to be a world leader in sustainability markets.
“With a continent of 20 million people we probably have the greatest per capita natural environment in the world,” he said.
“If we can convert that into something we can earn money from I think that’s a tremendous opportunity.”
Source: Yahoo Singapore