Student Researcher: Christine Wilson
Faculty Evaluator: Samantha Brim
Carbon “cap and trade, ” or Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) investment, has become a means by which industrialized countries avoid reducing their own emissions by implementing “emissions-reduction” projects in developing nations, thereby earning “carbon credits.” In fact many trans-national corporations are using cap and trade programs not only to avoid emissions responsibility, but to further profit by developing environmentally and socially destructive industries in less developed countries. Wood and pulp industries have shown great interest in harnessing the carbon market to justify and finance projects that involve expropriating indigenous farm and grazing land for planting of enormous monospecific plantations. In a recent documentary by Carbon Trade Watch, villagers explained that the massive plantations – which cover about 100,000 acres – are diverting water from local streams, causing a sharp decrease in fishing and killing off medicinal plants. In an interview, one local woman lamented that corporate plantations “continue destroying our community, destroying our citizens, destroying our fauna, destroying our flora, and nobody does anything [to stop it].” Nevertheless, World Bank has brokered 4364 projects for CDM funding, and the movement continues to gain momentum. New project proposals have risen drastically from less than ten per month in 2005 to about 100 per month in 2007, while removing the incentive for industry to improve efficiency or invest in renewable energy.
“The World Ban and Climate Change: Sustainability or Exploitation?” Mary Tharin, Upside Down World, 2/11/09 http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/1710/60/