We a single objective in common: to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. 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 have 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. This is why COP25 is extremely important for those most affected by climate change.
Within this troubling context, 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”
We outline some key arguments below 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 no discussion is to be had: we need immediate measures so that fossil fuels stay in the ground – period! Continuing to issue and buy credits will not meet our existential needs.
- The risk of double counting: it is possible that carbon credits could be double counted. Both the company that sold the credits and the government can account for the same credits, which makes for great accounting for both the seller and buyer, but is 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 regions of great green deserts, without biodiversity. In other words, you generate a fake forest.
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.
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.