A new government ‘kitemark’ suggests that most carbon offset schemes are flawed, but fails to address the more fundamental problem of paying others to clean up after us, argues Kevin Smith
Offset companies across the UK were petulantly stamping their carbon footprints recently following environment minister Hilary Benn’s announcement of a new ‘kitemark’ scheme for the sector. Voluntary offsets promise consumers the chance to pay extra to assuage their guilt when they fly or engage in other carbon-intensive activities.
Global warming is the privatisation of global commons by capital which now involves the expropriation of ecological spaces of the South. Progressive climate strategy must reduce growth and energy use while raising the quality of life of the broad masses of the people.
There is now a solid consensus in the scientific community that if the change in global mean temperature in the twenty-first century exceeds 2.4 degrees Celsius, changes in the planet's climate will be large-scale, irreversible, and disastrous.
De eerste uitvoerige toespraak komt van Susan George. Zij is vooral bekend geworden als medeoprichtster van Attac, de beweging voor eerlijker globalisering. Ook is zij fellow van het Amsterdamse Trans National Institute (TNI). Van oorsprong Amerikaanse is ze in Frankrijk al jaren bezig met het formuleren van economische kritiek en alternatieven. In haar Engelstalige toespraak van drie kwartier roert ze een aantal belangrijke thema's aan.
Deforestation is responsible for one-fifth of annual carbon emissions – more than the entire transport sector. Yet a new global scheme to ‘reduce deforestation’ could end up rewarding the companies and governments that cause it, writes Oscar Reyes.
On the eve of last December’s UN climate conference in Bali, the Indonesian government announced that it would plant 79 million trees in a single day to ‘offset’ the emissions of the entire conference.
New EU rules announced as part of the European Commission’s energy package, released today, will do little to cut carbon emissions without more fundamental changes to the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS).
The Commission has been subjected to a fierce bout of industry lobbying as it looks to replace free emissions permits with an auction system, although this has been subjected to a series of opt outs and will not take full effect until 2020.
“The EU has compromised to corporate lobbyists again” says Tamra Gilbertson of Carbon Trade Watch, a project of the Transnational Instit