WASHINGTON – While city, state, and national leaders gather at the UN Climate Talks to launch and implement platforms and agendas that promote carbon trading, carbon offsets, and REDD+, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Climate Justice Alliance take a bold stance to reject and challenge these so-called innovative solutions by releasing the “Carbon Pricing Report: A Critical Perspective for Community Resistance.”
This report provides in-depth context to why carbon market systems will not mitigate climate change, will not advance adaptation strategies, will not serve the most vulnerable communities facing climate change impacts and only protect the fossil fuel industry and corporations from taking real climate action.
Furthermore, the publication is the first of its kind to be released in the United States and will help frontline communities and grassroots organizations articulate crucial points to challenge carbon markets and climate change. It is a tool in building a carbon market grassroots resistance.
On Wednesday November 15, Tom Goldtooth, co-author of the report, and members from communities who are impacted first and worst by climate change spoke at the UN Climate Change Talks to challenge nations, cities, and businesses who are promoting carbon markets as they violate Indigenous Rights and make way for more fossil fuel extraction near Indigenous, Black, and Brown communities
Key points of Carbon Pricing Report:
- Carbon trading, carbon offsets and REDD+ are fraudulent climate mitigation mechanisms that help corporations and governments to continue extracting and burning fossil fuels.
- Revenues distributed to communities from carbon trading or carbon pricing never compensate for the destruction wrought by the extraction and pollution process required to obtain that revenue.
- The injustices, racism and colonialism of carbon pricing schemes have worldwide effects that require international resistance.
This publication will help communities and organizations articulate crucial points to resist carbon pricing and climate change.
The following is a statement from the co-authors of the report:
“The linking of carbon markets across the United States and the World is a tool that fossil-fuel companies have shaped and built to continue to extract and dump on frontline communities. Carbon pricing is a slap on the wrist, a reward really. History shows that, it does not have the ability to move us away from oil addiction, or reach our targets for climate justice. The only true way to reach our goals of 1.5C is to stop the fossil fuel machine at source, to provide stricter regulations, and to hold polluters accountable for their legacy of pollution. We need this Just Transition to survive! This report demonstrates through a historical and international lens the mounting threats these markets have wreaked on frontline communities across the world. It is a call to action for community resistance and resilience.” — Angela Adrar, Executive Director of the Climate Justice Alliance.
“Our Indigenous Peoples and people of color climate justice alliances saw a need to put together a publication that demystifies the carbon market regimes constantly being pushed upon our communities by environmental and climate organizations. Under the rubric of carbon pricing, these cap-and-trade, carbon offsets, carbon tax systems are false solutions that do not cut emissions at source, create toxic hot spots, and result in land grabs and violations of human rights and rights of Indigenous peoples in the forest regions of developing countries. People have a right to know the truth about these national and global initiatives that are nothing but the financialization of nature, the privatization of Mother Earth.” — Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network
Quotes from Press Conference Participants:
“What cap and trade has done is that it’s enabled the expansion of the oil industry and expansion of fossil fuel development because now they can offset emissions and pretend that their carbon is being stored somewhere in the Amazon. Carbon credits are permission to pollute.” — Alberto Saldamando, Indigenous Environmental Network
“I live in Richmond, California and there are 5 refineries in the east bay of San Francisco that includes shell, torsoro, valero, phillips 66 and chevron. Growing up my family had to live through explosions and flares from these refineries, which sometimes sent us to the hospital, only to be met with paperwork so that we couldn’t sue the oil company. These refineries and they toxins they release in our communities are causing major health issues; cancers, birth defects and respiratory problems, and the people being affected most are African Americans , Indigenous peoples, Hispanic folks and low income families. These places we live in are now called sacrifice zones because we are literally sacrificing our lives just to live where we’ve always lived. And for most of us, the idea of isn’t an option because we are low income. This is why we must stop fossil fuel emissions at the source and not let these companies buy their way out of contaminating towns and cities.” — Isabella Zizi, Idle No More SF Bay Area
“First of all if we are here it’s because we have a problem. I came here with a mission from my community to bring messages to the cop. These carbon trading mechanism are being implanted in the state of Acre Brazil and they are also implementing carbon offsets in Acre. The first thing that these carbon offset projects cause is division in our communities and when indigenous people and indigenous leaders are divided, there are very adverse social impacts. Everywhere I’ve gone I’ve seen that carbon trading and carbon offsets are not a solution to climate change , it does not reduce pollution, it does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the Brazilian amazon we are seeing a lot of carbon offsets projects with very adverse impacts for our peoples. What’s happening is that Indigenous Peoples are being criminalized by these carbon offset projects. We’re not destroying the forest. We’re the ones who protecting the forest. Now they are offering our communities money in exchange so that the big polluting companies can use our forests for sponges for their pollution. I am saddened to be here at COP23 because this is just one big carbon trading convention. The government and industries are not defending life on earth, they are doing business, they are figuring out ways to make more money. They don’t care about what is happening in our communities, they don’t care about what we’re suffering. All they care about is their profits. Furthermore, climate change is not going to end or be reduced by their solutions, it’s just about a bunch of lies. People don’t know what’s happening with these false solutions in my community and that’s why I’m here, so I really hope that my message is heated and heard, we must not forget that life itself is at stake and we must not believe the lies of industries and governments.” — Ninawa Inu Huni kim, Cheif and President of the Federacao Huni Kui People of Acre
“I think this is a very significant event today launching this Carbon Pricing Report: A Critical Perspective for Community Resistance because the future of the planet will depend on communities standing strong against false solutions. COP is nothing but a carbon stock exchange because what is really being discussed on the negotiation floors are deals, who can buy what and sell what, who has the rights to keep polluting, whether it’s trees in Nigeria or Kenya or Cameron or Uganda…The polluters don’t want to change from the pattern that has brought us to where we are at today and this is the sickening and the sad thing about the COP. How can we pretend that fiction will solve reality. Carbon Pricing is fiction, selling the price of air, of carbon, and doing anything to stop the pollution but instead they keep pumping the toxic stuff into the atmosphere. I think this report is so vital because it shows that the time to stop green-washing is now.” – Nnimmo Bassey, Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, No REDD in Africa Network, , Oil Watch, Nigeria, Africa
Grassroots Global Justice (GGJ) is a national alliance of US-based grassroots organizing (GRO) groups organizing to build an agenda for power for working and poor people and communities of color. We understand that there are important connections between the local issues we work on and the global context, and we see ourselves as part of an international movement for global justice.