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.

2_4amazon_forest“Enabling the poor to tap that new potential income, however, implies providing the legal tools and protection to reap the benefits of their good stewardship,” Kjørven states in the report “Opportunities in Environmental Stewardship: Climate Change and Legal Empowerment of the Rural Poor,” coauthored with Estelle Fach.

Delegates from more than 190 countries met Dec. 1-12 in Poznan to hammer out some of the final details for a new climate treaty under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Targeted for completion in Copenhagen late next year, the new climate treaty will be the successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which has been in force since 2005 and expires in 2012.

A new Copenhagen treaty will require substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from all countries and create an adaptation fund to help poor countries implement sustainable economies and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

“It is essential to ensure that future, market-based financing mechanisms under the Climate Change Convention will not exclude the rural poor, but work for their benefit,” Kjørven told Tierramérica.

For complete story see: Carbon Markets – What’s In It for the Poor?

2 thoughts on “Carbon-Credit Gold: Who is going to get rich?

  1. The carbon credit schemes might be promising, but difficult to impplement. There are some obstacles here:

    1. There is no a clear legally bounded article to force developed country to participate in. Most developed countries tend to protect their national economic interest. Rich countries help poor countries, rain forest countries in forced to obey the scheme. Not an equal position.

    2. Some parts of developing countries, at district level, are in need to develop their economics infrastructure, that is, need to convert green covered areas and improve local residents’ living standard

    3. No clear benefits for local people who live around, or in, forest land. They need daily cash, not a jargon anticipating climate change for global sake.
    It is crucial to draw direct benefit for them.

    4. International opportunist broker. It could be predicted that nearly 50% of financial budget earned will be spend for them; Transnationa companies, most of them come from developing countries.

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