This post was first published by 350 Brazil in Portuguese on December 5, 2019.
We have a single objective in common: to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. And the way to achieve this will be by reducing the amount of carbon emissions in the atmosphere.
This is why the Paris Agreement was created, which, as we’ve learned from the IPCC and UN reports, will not be sufficient to respond to the climate emergency we are experiencing. The scenario is serious and urgent – especially for those most affected by climate change.
Within this troubling context at COP25, there is the so-called “carbon credit market”, which is based on the offset law: “If you don’t pollute enough, let me pollute for you in exchange for money.”
Here are some key arguments to help you understand how this market works, and why we are against it:
- We do not have time to “push papers”: we are living a climate emergency and there’s no excuse: we need immediate measures so that fossil fuels stay in the ground, period! Continuing to issue and buy credits will not meet our needs to survive.
- The risk of double counting: it’s possible that carbon credits could be double counted. Both the company that sold them and the government could account for the same credits. That makes for great accounting for both the seller and buyer, but it’s terrible for the environment.
- Generating forests without biodiversity: when carbon markets involve REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), and plant trees to offset carbon, the trees planted are usually pine or eucalyptus species. This renders the forests into regions of great green deserts, without biodiversity.
And, focussing on the central objective: If we are all seeking to contain global warming and keep the planet at 1.5 degrees, who benefits from these sales?
No living thing!
No living thing benefits from the sale of carbon credits. The carbon market only serves to meet industrial demands, who in turn do little to effectively curb climate change.
We therefore believe that the COP25 negotiations should not repeat past mistakes, placing industry at the center of decision making. Instead, those most affected by climate change should be heard.
Throughout 2019 we organised a public consultation with all indigenous groups in Latin America in order to put their demands on paper in a letter to be delivered to authorities during COP25.
By Livia Lie – Coordinator for Digital Campaigns at 350.org Brazil and Latin America, Communications Specialist and Volunteer of the Brazilian Coalition for No Fracking for Climate, Water, and Life.