ecostory 51/2006
Carbon Trading
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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

We don't believe that carbon trading will help the environment in any way. In fact we argue that the Kyoto Protocol itself it a waste of time and effort, which should be spent on direct measures to reduce our impact on the environment, that is reducing the scale and the speed of our economic activities as well as relocalising economic structures. Compare Useless Kyoto.
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