Carbon offsets: accommodation or resistance?

In December 2015, 195 countries gathered in Paris and adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal. They expressed their joint willingness to keep the global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius by the end of this century, but they did not adopt any explicit emission reductions targets against which they could be held accountable for. 


Multi-media by

Esteve Corbera

For political reasons, the words ‘carbon markets’ or ‘carbon offsetting’ do not explicitly appear in the Agreement. However, these approaches are indirectly referred to in several of the Agreement’s provisions. Article 6, for example, encourages “cooperative approaches that involve the use of internationally transferred mitigation outcomes towards nationally determined contributions”, which in turn suggests that approaches like the Clean Development Mechanism will continue to have a role in international climate change mitigation. Article 5 also refers to another important “north-south” cooperation framework, that is the idea of reducing emissions from land-use change, deforestation, degradation or managing forests to “enhance carbon stocks”, the so-called REDD+ mechanism, the funding of which might be attached to quantified and verified emission reductions. 

This video was recorded during the Colloquium Global Governance, Climate Justice & Agrarian Justice. 

The convergence of multiple crises - food, energy, environmental, climate change and finance - has triggered profound agrarian and environmental transformations. A global rush to control natural resources is underway. In February 2016, the International Institute for Social Studies (ISS) hosted an international colloqium "Global governance/politics, climate justice & agrarian/social justice: linkages and challenges" to discuss a range of related themes and developments.

A list of the papers presented at the Colloquium can be found here.

Ideas into movement

Boost TNI's work

50 years. Hundreds of social struggles. Countless ideas turned into movement. 

Support us as we celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2024.

Make a donation