Climate change, carbon trading and civil society

Negative returns on South African investments
14 January 2008
With climate change posing perhaps the gravest threat to humanity in coming decades, and with free market economics still hegemonic, it is little wonder so much effort has gone into creating a carbon market, no matter how much evidence has recently emerged about its flaws. South Africa, a revealing pilot site, has initiated carbon trading projects with adverse economic, environmental and social impacts. South Africa pollutes at a rate twenty times higher than even the United States of America, measured by CO2 emissions generated by each GDP dollar per person, so the idea of trading for carbon reductions is seductive – and potentially lucrative. Current state policy is supportive and a former environmental minister is a market promoter, alongside the World Bank, the Dutch government and big oil companies. Editors Patrick Bond, Rehana Dada and graham Erion of the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the transnational institute have assembled this cutting-edge collection to highlight the urgent situation.
Introduction Patrick Bond, Rehana Dada and Graham Erion Dirty politics: South African energy Patrick Bond Interrogating nuclear and renewable energy Muna Lakhani and Vanessa Black The South African projects Graham Erion, Larry Lohmann and Trusha Reddy Low-hanging fruit always rots first: observations from South Africa’s carbon market Graham Erion Climate fraud and carbon colonialism Heidi Bachram World Bank carbon colonies Daphne Wysham Prototype carbon fund beneficiaries Larry Lohmann, Jutta Kill, Graham Erion and Michael K. Doresy Big oil and Africans groundwork Oil companies and African wealth depletion Patrick Bond Conclusion Patrick Bond
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