Selling carbon credits could be impetus for sovereign wealth fund

The country will have to continue to wait for some sort of sovereign wealth or rainy-day fund, Minister of Economic Affairs Michael Halkitis said yesterday, explaining that should the country be successful in selling carbon credits, that could be the impetus for the start of a fund.

Halkitis, who addressed members of the media during the Office of the Prime Minister’s weekly press briefing, also explained that government assets and shares could also be used to start a fund.

“Some people call them rainy-day funds. Every country aspires to say we’ll put something away in case of a rainy day,” said Halkitis.

“Traditionally, resource-rich countries, let’s say in our region Trinidad, which has oil wealth, would establish a fund and deposit resources in there and also manage it to get returns.

“As we move to the development of a carbon regime and monetize that and actually concretize that, that’s an option for doing it, but as it stands now in the ordinary course of business, it’s very difficult for any country.

“You can even look at it from an individual perspective. It’s difficult to say ok, we’re going to put something aside for a rainy day because of the demands of life.”

Halkitis explained that monetizing The Bahamas’ carbon credits is likely the answer to beginning a fund that would help to float the country during a crisis that threatens the economy.

He said the country is “almost at a point” where it can submit its proposal to qualify for carbon credits to the body that will scrutinize it. He said an advanced, high-level committee has been working on the proposal.

According to Halkitis, the international review committee could take up to one year to understand and ratify The Bahamas’ position to acquire and sell carbon credits.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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