Chief of Cambodia's forestry administration Ty Sokhun remarks could also have been addressed to the heads of state and officials due to negotiate in Copenhagen in December, on the future of the Kyoto Protocol.
World climate change negotiators have failed to agree on how to implement the target of below 2 degrees Celcius temperature increases, which would otherwise have devastating negative impacts on life.
Scientists say this can be achieved by cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.
While taking into account criticisms that the market mechanism has been used *tactically' by developed countries to shift their burden in helping developing countries with emissions reduction projects, it has nonetheless offered some concrete solutions to climate change. The more as there is widespread scepticism that the Copenhagen talks will come up with a global agreement.
Last year, the global carbon market value surged to US$125 billion, from $60 billion in 2007, says the World Bank, 56 percent of which (or $705 million) was contributed by the voluntary carbon market.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecast the value of the carbon market will exceed $150 billion this year despite the downturn.
If the value of 1 ton of emissions reduction is $10 to the seller, then the market mechanism contributes 125 billion tons of reduction.
"By any measure, the growth of the carbon market is proof that market mechanisms are working," ADB director of the energy and water division of the Southeast Asia department, Anthony Jude, said during the opening of the Oct. 26-27 Carbon Forum Asia 2009 jointly held by International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) and trade fair company Koelnmesse.
Atmospheric CO2 concentration was about 180 parts per million (ppm) of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) in the last ice age and 280 ppm by the pre-industrial era.
The difference of 100 ppm could translate into a four degree Celcius temperature rise, according to studies, said the ADB.
Today, the CO2 level is 380 ppm and rising fast. If current trends continue, many predict that GHG levels will rise to 550-700 ppm CO2e by 2050 and 650-1,200 ppm by 2100
The Kyoto Protocol, expiring in 2012, requires developed countries limit or reduce GHG emissions.
But many developed countries are wary of possible economic losses if they adopt high targets, and prefer developing nations take similar steps backed by transfer of clean technologies. The Protocol will be reviewed or replaced in the Copenhagen talks.
Emissions reduction certificates can be traded in several carbon markets including via the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under Kyoto, the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS), and the voluntary offset market where companies or individuals buy emission reductions to reduce their carbon footprints.
Under the CDM Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) generated by qualifying developing country projects can help meet own reduction commitments, or be traded.
Voluntary markets trade reduction certificates from renewable energy, energy efficiency, methane capture, and forestry projects.
Many expect the global carbon industry to continue to perform well despite post Kyoto Protocol uncertainties and the global downturn, and the political dynamics in developed countries tending to hold back on new climate change commitments as in the US and Australia.
"The demand *for carbon credits* will be higher *in the years to come*, that means it will boost prices," said Sandra Greiner, a CDM expert from the Climate Focus consultancy, without specifying prices.
The price of 1 ton of GHG emissions (of CO2e) at the voluntary market is now between $5 and $10.
Greiner argued there was great scope for the voluntary market to grow as a number of countries were still not eligible to join the CDM market while the voluntary market is less bureaucratic compared to the official CDM market with its validation process often taking two to three years to complete.
Ellen May Zanoria, Southeast Asia expert with the Gold Standard carbon credit certification agency, pointed out the US bill calling for nationwide limits on GHG was a key driver for the carbon market.
Zanoria admitted that costly certification procedures have hindered developing countries from joining the carbon market. Market participation costs set by private consultants for the voluntary market can be as low $25,000.
Singapore Senior Minister for Trade and Industry, S. Iswaran, citing World Bank economist, said if the US bill is passed, and the EU increases its emissions reduction target to 30 percent by 2020, then future demand could well be in the range of 600 million tons of offset credits per year.
Asia is poised to be the largest supplier of CERs to the global carbon market, as seventy percent of CDM projects are located within the Asia-Pacific region. China and India remain the world's largest suppliers of carbon credits, Iswaran said.
Nishant Bhardwaj, fund portfolio manager of the Asia Pacific Carbon Fund at the ADB told The Jakarta Post that ADB set up the carbon fund in 2007.
"Seven sovereign governments in Europe have put $152 million into the ADB carbon fund and we have invested in 90 eligible CDM projects. We *will* pay in advance up to 50 percent on CERs generated by the projects until December 2012,"
"We don't ask for bank guarantees for the CDM projects," he said, adding that the ADB fund was provided by Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Luxembourg, Finland, and Switzerland, among others.