Peasant, Indigenous Organizations Reject Market Schemes for Global Warming
By Laura Carlsen
The UN Climate Conference (COP16) in Cancun is turning out to be both anti-climactic and anti-climatic.Negotiators have given up on a binding agreement to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. Instead, they are seeking to expand schemes to allow contaminating industries and nations to continue with business as usual and add another lucrative area to their portfolios–trade in carbon offsets and credits.
These include market-based incentives like the UN Reduction of Emissions for Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) proposal and the Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol. Both allow developed-country polluters to use peasant and indigenous lands and projects in developing countries to offset continued pollution. In the bargain, not only do polluters avoid having to reduce emissions, but the land-management contracts that verify offsets typically strip traditional communities of their rights over the carbon-absorbing lands they have preserved for millennia.
The Americas Program.