Carbon-Credit Gold: Who is going to get rich?

forest-fireBy Stephen Leahy

Paying the poor to conserve forests through a market scheme is the new star among initiatives in climate talks.

UXBRIDGE, Canada, Dec 15 (Tierramérica).- Climate experts meeting in Poznan, Poland, promised to create a new pot of carbon-credit gold for the rural poor as guardians of rural lands and forests.

But there are many who warn that the gold will flow only to corporate interests.

One of the most effective ways to combat climate change, caused by gases like carbon dioxide that trap heat in the atmosphere, is through biological sequestration of carbon in plants, trees and soils. That means reducing deforestation, increasing reforestation, and utilizing sustainable agriculture and grazing practices that conserve soil and water.

If these activities become part of a multi-billion-dollar global carbon finance regime, under a new 2009 climate treaty, there could be extraordinary benefits for the rural poor and the environment, according to Olav Kjørven, the former director of the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Energy and Environment Group. Continue reading