Last week, Carbon Trade Watch released two new factsheets: “Key arguments against REDD+”, and “Some Key REDD+ Players”. Be warned: you are in for a rocky ride if you belong to the camp that believes that REDD is the best hope for saving the rainforests, that safeguards will protect indigenous peoples’ rights and that carbon trading is the only way of raising sufficient funding for REDD.
Carbon Trade Watch was set up in 2002 as the Environmental Justice project of the Transnational Institute. It has produced several reports documenting the flaws in pollution trading models. It was among the co-founders of the Durban Group for Climate Justice and Climate Justice Now!.
Here’s how Climate Trade Watch describes its “Key Arguments Against REDD+” factsheet on its website:
No to REDD+! REDD+ is still being negotiated. There are many who defend REDD+ for valuing ecosystems services; there are others who see it as the only way to protect forests and stabilize the climate. But whatever form REDD+ takes, even if it includes Human Rights safeguards, it will be designed to allow industrialized countries and polluting industries like Shell, BP and Rio Tinto to continue polluting. Corporations and Northern countries responsible for the climate crisis need to take responsibility for their own emissions by addressing the structural changes necessary to be made in the North and stopping pollution at the source. Human rights, environmental rights and cultural practices of forest-dependent and Indigenous Peoples must be protected from REDD+.
The factsheet, which was produced together with Global Justice Ecology Project and the Indigenous Environmental Network, can be downloaded here (pdf file, 260 KB).
Carbon Trade Watch describes the second fact sheet, “Some Key REDD+ Actors”, as follows:
REDD+ rewards polluters with carbon credits, allowing them to elude their responsibility to reduce emissions at source. There are billions of dollars at stake and no real obligation to respect human or collective rights – the so-called “safeguards” mentioned in the negotiating text states that they should only be “promoted and supported” rather than being obligatory for governments. These sneaky words are absolutely inadequate to protect Indigenous and forest-dependent Peoples’ rights. REDD-type projects have already resulted in land grabs, jailings, servitude and threats to cultural survival. It is crucial to ask who is gaining from REDD+, who is making the decisions, where is the money coming from and who is pushing REDD+, and why. Below is an overview of some of the key players who are behind designing, implementing and profiting from REDD+.
The factsheet can be downloaded here (pdf file, 260 KB).
Carbon Trade Watch’s latest newsletter includes an invitation to sign the position on Women and REDD, that was drawn up during the UN climate conference in Cancún, December 2010.