RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has announced the launch of the Regional Voluntary Carbon Market Co. in collaboration with Tadawul Group with a SR500 million ($133 million) capital.
In a statement issued on Monday, the sovereign wealth fund said it would hold an 80 percent stake in the new entity, with the remaining shares held by the stock exchange operator.
Based in Riyadh, VCM will help facilitate a carbon credit auction to be held at the 6th Future Investment Initiative summit, which opens on Tuesday, involving 1 million tons of carbon credits, the fund said.
The auction will offer one million tons of high-quality carbon credits, including CORSIA-compliant certificates registered with Verra.
The creation of VCM was announced in September last year by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as part of a series of initiatives adopted by the Kingdom to reduce emissions and tackle climate change.
Voluntary carbon markets allow carbon emitters to offset their emissions by purchasing carbon credits.
The financial impact of the Group's stake in the company, following its commercial launch, is expected to be positive.
“We are delighted to announce the establishment of the Regional Voluntary Carbon Market Co., which coincides with the auction’s announcement — a major milestone for the Middle East and North Africa region,” Yazeed Al-Humied, deputy governor and head of MENA Investments at PIF, said.
“We are passionate about the potential for voluntary carbon markets to deliver additional carbon reduction benefits throughout the region, thereby ensuring the MENA region is at the forefront of climate action and that Saudi Arabia is a leading force in tackling the climate challenges.
“The company will play an important role in PIF’s wider efforts to drive the investment and innovation required to address the impact of climate change and support Saudi Arabia’s efforts to achieve net zero by 2060,” he added.
Khalid Al-Hussan, CEO of Tadawul Group, said the company had an important role to play in championing Saudi Arabia’s efforts to achieve a sustainable future.
“We continuously work toward encouraging the adoption of ESG disclosures in the Saudi capital market, to advocate for a better, more transparent future,” he said.
“We are delighted to be an integral part, strategically and operationally, of the Regional Voluntary Carbon Market Co. We believe it will be instrumental in supporting Vision 2030 and in further realizing the group’s vision of being a gateway to the MENA region for global investors.”
It is worth noting that the PIF holds 70 percent of Saudi Tadawul Group Holding shares.