Carbon trading has become the central pillar of international agreements
aimed at slowing climate change. Proponents of this market-based approach
to addressing an environmental crisis argue that carbon trading allows
reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the most economical manner.
What proponents of this market based-approach do not mention are the
hidden consequences of carbon trading - the creation of a new commodity
and of private property rights to the atmosphere, the hand-out of tradable
pollution rights worth billions of euro to large emitters in industrialised
countries free of charge. Through this process of creating a new commodity
- carbon - the Earth's ability and capacity to support a climate conducive
to life and human societies is now passing into the same corporate hands
that are destroying the climate. Carbon trading will thus not contribute
to achieving protection of the Earth's climate. It is a false solution
which entrenches and magnifies social inequalities in many ways.
The public debate about these consequences of carbon trading has only
just begun. The Durban conference on "Commodifying Carbon: Consequences
and Strategies" , held in Durban, South Africa, in October 2004,
brought together some 30 organizations from more than 15 countries to
exchange information, analysis, and strategy ideas concerning the social,
environmental and human problems posed by the emerging carbon market.
This page aims at providing access to the existing and emerging literature
and analysis challenging the assumptions of the emerging carbon market.
Click here to read the Durban
Call to Action or to sign the Durban
Declaration on Carbon trading.
Read the Carbon Trade Watch report Hoodwinked in the Hothouse