The Public Investment Fund (PIF)-backed Regional Voluntary Carbon Market Company (RVCMC) has selected commodity exchange Xpansiv to provide tech infrastructure for its carbon credit market set to launch later this year in Saudi Arabia.  

The new exchange will be built on Xpansiv’s open-access market infrastructure, including a fully automated, same-day settlement platform and a portfolio management system, both of which will be integrated with leading global registries, RVCMC said in a statement.

"RVCMC will set tight guiderails for the exchange to ensure the listing of high integrity carbon credit projects only, all backed by independent standard setters, to support the global energy transition," it said.

Carbon credits, or carbon offsets, are permits that allow holders to compensate for emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases.

The Saudi fund soverign wealth fund PIF and Saudi Tadawul Group, the holding company that runs the kingdom's stock exchange, set up RVCMC in 2022. The company said it would set up a fund to invest in climate projects. Last year in an auction held in Nairobi it sold 2.2 million tons of voluntary carbon credits in the largestever carbon credit sale.

Riham ElGizy, CEO of RVCMC, said: "Developing a carbon credit trading exchange is the next step in RVCMC’s mission to become one of the largest voluntary carbon markets in the world by 2030. Our work with Xpansiv will help us build the infrastructure the market needs for a thriving, transparent and increasingly liquid market, one that can maximize the role of carbon offsets in tackling climate change across the Global South.”

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest crude exporter and the Arab world's biggest economy, has set ambitious targets to fight climate change and has set a target to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2060.

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)