South Pole and GenZero launch new centre to scale ‘high-impact first-of-a-kind’ carbon credits in Asia

Co-led by two senior South Pole staff, the Singapore-based Asia Centre of Carbon Excellence seeks to grow nascent decarbonisation projects in the region, such as early coal phase-out, greener shipping fuels and carbon capture and storage.

Asia Centre of Carbon Excellence
The newly established Asia Centre of Carbon Excellence joins a slew of technical centres emerging globally that seek to accelerate the development of internationally tradeable carbon credits that can be counted towards national climate targets. From left: John Davis, interim CEO, South Pole and Frederick Teo, CEO, GenZero. Image: GenZero

Swiss climate consultant South Pole teamed up with GenZero, a Singapore state investor Temasek-owned investment platform, to launch a new carbon financing centre on Wednesday, which aims to scale “high-impact first-of-a-kind projects that are distinctly valuable” to Asia.

The Singapore-based Asia Centre of Carbon Excellence (ACCE) will be co-led by two senior South Pole Staff, Bangkok-based Theo Shand, associate director for Asia, Climate Policy and Carbon Markets and Singapore-based Shawn Woo, senior commercial manager, APAC and Middle East, Climate Solutions.

Prior to joining South Pole, Shand had helped to mobilise Article 6 trading structures – rules set out in the Paris Agreement for the voluntary trading of carbon credits to meet national climate targets – in Cambodia with Global Green Growth Institute between 2021 and 2023. He had also worked on clean cookstove projects in Southeast Asia for five years at the Netherlands development organisation SNV.

Theo and Shawn - South Pole

The day to day operations of the new centre will be co-led by two senior South Pole staff, Bangkok-based Theo Shand (left) and Singapore-based Shawn Woo (right). Image: LinkedIn

Woo had previously worked in cryptocurrency exchange ByBit and as a consultant in McKinsey’s sustainability practice, advising corporations the energy and chemicals sector on their sales and marketing as well as decarbonisation strategies.

The centre told Eco-Business that its strategic direction will be guided “by a technical board made up of global experts”. It has not been revealed who will sit on this board.

According to the joint media release, ACCE will build on South Pole’s current work in developing “innovative methodologies”, such as the Coal to Clean Credit initiative (CCCI) with the Rockefeller Foundation, which is currently been used to trial the early retirement of a Philippines coal plant by a decade through the use of a novel class of carbon credits.

Other than early coal phase-outs, the centre plans to support the development of other “high-impact” decarbonisation projects in the region, like greener shipping fuels, the adoption of carbon capture and storage as well as the implementation of carbon pricing instruments, such as the European Union carbon border adjustment mechanism, a carbon tax applying to emissions-intensive imports which kicked in last October.

The press release stated that the centre’s team will collaborate with regional corporations and governments to explore the opportunities for such projects in Asia and beyond, to allow the public and private sector to achieve their net zero targets “in a cost-effective manner”.

Last year, South Pole came under fire for overselling carbon credits from a rainforest carbon project in Zimbabwe after several news investigations. This led to a series of leadership reshuffles, including the appointment of a new chief executive officer earlier in February after the company’s co-founder stepped down.

John Davis, interim CEO of South Pole, said that Singapore is “an ideal place” to host the new centre given its “strong reputation for playing a role in advancing climate change beyond its borders”.

“Technical know-how and brave innovation will define how our team works to boost Asia’s leadership in international carbon trading and mitigation,” he added.

ACCE joins the growing list of “centre of excellences” in the international carbon credit trading space, such as the Qatar-based Climate Action Centre of Excellence, which launched at last year’s COP28 climate summit and aims to accelerate Article 6 implementation in the Middle East and North Africa.


Acara Unggulan

Publish your event
leaf background pattern

Transformasi Inovasi untuk Keberlanjutan Gabung dengan Ekosistem →