Commentary: How I got from beach clean-ups at Pasir Ris to speaking at COP27 climate summit

1 week ago 26

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt: On the last day of COP27, I sat with delegates from all over the world to discuss one of the most hotly debated items on the UN climate summit’s agenda: The mechanisms of voluntary carbon markets, through which businesses and governments can purchase carbon credits to offset their emissions.

As the CEO of a small social enterprise in Pasir Ris, Singapore, I felt like a fish out of water. It was my first COP after all.

With my team, we’ve done the painful work of mapping carbon credits for seaweed – that is, figuring out how much carbon dioxide seaweed can absorb from the seas – so had input on what blue carbon credits might look like. Precisely how much marine and coastal habitats can offset carbon emissions is something the world has yet to be aligned on.

Last year at COP26 in Glasgow, a set of rules governing global carbon markets was agreed upon after years of negotiations. This year was all about taking actionable steps for implementation – which is where social entrepreneurs like me come in.

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