350 Reasons Why Carbon Trading Won’t Work

1          Emissions trading doesn’t work and won’t get us to 350 ppm.
2          The Kyoto Protocol has resulted in a net increase in emissions.
3          Emissions trading has created pollution hotspots.
4          “The economic logic of dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable, and we should face up to it [….] countries in Africa are vastly UNDER polluted” ~ Larry Summers, while serving as Chief Economist of the World Bank. Summers is now Obama’s chief economic advisor.
5          The sulfur dioxide market is often held up as a successful model for the carbon market. What is not disclosed is that it led to pollution hotspots(areas of increased emissions) in majority people-of-color and low-income communities.
6          Chevron Facility, El Segundo(near Los Angeles), an example of one amongst many facilities that saw an increase in emissions from the S02 market.
7          Unocal Facility, Wilmington (near Long Beach, CA), an example of one amongst many facilitates that saw an increase in emissions from the S02 market.
8          Carbon trading privatizes the atmosphere, our global commons
9          “Trade in CO2 emissions is equated with the transfer of similar rights such as copyrights, patents, licensing rights and commercial and industrial trademarks.” ~ US Department of Energy
10        “If we put a price on every square inch of air, there are some of us who won’t be able to afford to breathe.” ~ José Bravo, Just Transition Alliance.
11        IMAGE: Carbon Market Daily – your future, marketized.
12        Carbon trading puts corporate profits before reducing emissions
13        “Finally, the legacy of cap-and-trade is not going to be a greener world. It’s going to be the world’s largest new stock market, trading exclusively in a stock called carbon credits, where the mega-profits will be made by speculators, hedge funds, and the same financial and investment houses that just finished crashing the global economy.” -Edmonton Sun
14        RWE, a German power company, got €5 billion in windfall profits in the 2005-07 period, without lowering emissions using carbon markets as an excuse to raise electricity prices despite getting carbon permits for free.
15        The proposed Australian emissions trading scheme will hand $16 billion dollars to big polluting companies.
16        According to the NY Times: “billions of dollars in special interest favors” were added to the ACES climate bill in order to win enough votes for it to pass the House of Representatives.
17       Trade in the carbon market provides a new source of funding for companies that produce large quantities of greenhouse gasses.
18       Companies can pass the cost of carbon credits onto consumers, allowing them to pollute at the same profit margin.
Reckless, mega-corporations with bad environmental and human rights records support carbon trading…
19        AES Corporation supports carbon trading
20        Alcoa supports carbon trading
21        Alstom supports carbon trading
22        Boston Scientific Corporation supports carbon trading
23        Chrysler supports carbon trading
24        Duke Energy supports carbon trading
25        Dupont supports carbon trading
26        Exelon supports carbon trading
27        Florida Power and Light supports carbon trading
28        Ford supports carbon trading
29         General Electric supports carbon trading
30        General Motors supports carbon trading
31        John Deere supports carbon trading
32        Johnson and Johnson supports carbon trading
33        NRG supports carbon trading
34        Pepsi supports carbon trading
35        PG&E supports carbon trading
36        PNM Resources supports carbon trading
37        BP supports carbon trading
38        Caterpillar supports carbon trading
39        ConocoPhillips supports carbon trading
40        Dow Chemical supports carbon trading
41        Rio Tinto supports carbon trading
42        Shell Oil supports carbon trading
43        Siemens supports carbon trading
(American International Group (AIG) and Lehman Brothers supported carbon trading too)
44        It perpetuates rich countries’ dominance over poor countries.
45        Carbon markets are fundamentally undemocratic
46        Basic policy decisions (how do we manage waste? protect forests? produce energy?) are moved out of the domain of public decision-making and into private hands by creating a system where private firms become the initiators of projects and policies.
47        Carbon trading encourages change at a glacial pace instead of the rapid transition from fossil fuels that is needed.
48        Carbon trading promotes “solutions” which are most profitable, not those which are most protective of the environment or social needs.
49        Carbon trading does nothing to regulate the host of other toxins released in the burning of fossil fuels
50        Since carbon markets rely on the price of carbon emissions to act as a regulator, volatility in these prices could have disastrous consequences for the public and the climate.
51        Volatile prices can result in sharp increases in power bills, hurting utilities customers
52        The American Clean Energy and Security act passed by the US House allows traders to “bank” carbon permits, a form of financial speculation that can create artificial scarcity and push up prices.
53        Carbon markets are like the Whack-a-Mole game; a victory against a proposed dirty coal plant in one location merely pushes the pollution elsewhere.
54        The process is dangerously complex and opaque. It disempowers citizens from being engaged in fighting climate change
55        “The more I look at Congress’ legislation to address climate change with a cap-and-trade program, the more it looks like a Rube Goldberg device – one of those amusing contraptions that employ all manner of moving parts in a complicated, convoluted process that performs a simple task.” -Marshall Saunders, Philadelphia Inquirer.
56        Corruptibility breeding comfort: the loopholes and political pork embedded in the carbon trading system have soothed major polluters into broad-based support.
57        “Cap and trade…is almost perfectly designed for the buying and selling of political support through the granting of valuable emissions permits to favor specific industries and even specific Congressional districts. That is precisely what is taking place now in the House Energy and Commerce Committee…” – New York Times (05/17/09)
58        Carbon markets hold carbon credits in reserve as a safety valve. If carbon prices get too high, the market is flooded with these reserve credits, preventing any chances of emission reductions.
59        The UN body which approves carbon market transactions is severely under-staffed, undermining their ability to police these transactions.
60        Auctioning of carbon credits has rarely happened, nearly all credits have been given away for free.
61        “If you didn’t auction the permits, it would represent the largest corporate welfare program that has ever been enacted in the history of the United States.” Peter Richard Orszag Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Obama, former Director of the Congressional Budget Office.
62        The American Clean Energy and Security act gives $126 billion in free allowances to heavy industry
63        The American Clean Energy and Security act gives $35 billion in free allowance to carbon capture and storage technologies
64        The American Clean Energy and Security act gives $378 billion in free allowances to electric utilities
65        The American Clean Energy and Security act gives $66 billion in free allowances to natural gas utilities
66        The American Clean Energy and Security act only requires 15% of pollution permits to be sold. The rest are given away.
67        The American Clean Energy and Security act gives $17 billion in free allowances to oil refiners
68        Carbon trading pushes pollution overseas into poorer countries with lower emissions caps.
69        Most “cap and trade” proposals (such as Kyoto’s “Clean Development Mechanism”, aka “CDM”) allow richer countries to exceed emissions caps by purchasing “offsets” generated by a project in poorer country which theoretically lowers carbon emissions there. But, it’s nearly impossible to prove that most offset projects would not have happened anyway without carbon financing.
70        “Carbon Offsets: an imaginary commodity created by deducting what you hope happens from what you guess would have happened.” -Dan Welch, writing in Ethical Consumer.
71        A German study reported that 86% of offset-funded projects certified by the UN were likely to have been carried out anyway, not contributing to any additional protection of the climate.
72        Emission reductions units, the currency of the carbon trading system, rarely represent actual emission reductions.
73        Ratings company IDEAcarbon reports that actual emissions reductions from offset projects are 30% less than promised.
74        Offsets encourage the fossil fuel economy instead of restricting it, allowing polluters to carry on polluting.
75        International offsets will drive carbon prices down by 89% under The American Clean Energy and Security act according to the EPA.
76        The American Clean Energy and Security act  gives nearly 5 times more money to polluters than to clean energy companies/organizations.
77        “The ACES bill would allow the use of up to 2 billion offsets each year, up to three-quarters of them from international sources. The use of these offsets would allow U.S. polluters to boost emissions by nearly two-fifths by 2012 and would not force cutbacks below today’s levels until 2027.” -San Francisco Chronicle
78        Australia’s proposed carbon trading scheme will do nothing to stop a major expansion of coal mining in New South Wales and other states, despite coal being the major source of Australian (and global) emissions.
79        Australia’s proposed carbon trading scheme would permit the expansion of the Mt. Piper power station and other coal-fired power stations.
80        The voluntary carbon offset market – which promises consumers “carbon neutrality” – helps normalize and justify the much larger corporate/government offset plunder, and perpetuates a consumer guilt paradigm that stifles genuine collective action.
81        Carbon offsets are like the buying of indulgences in the Catholic Church.
82        It makes as much sense as paying a couple to stay faithful to each other so that you can keep cheating on your partner.
83        We can’t buy our way out of real change.
84        “freecarbonoffsets.com” – Because no price is too low for feeling good about offsetting responsibility!
85        It encourages the same magical thinking as is putting trash in an landfill and believing it has somehow vanished from the Earth!
86        Many offset projects actively undermine communities living a sustainable, low-carbon lifestyle, promote human rights abuses or encourage environmental racism.
87        Carbon trading breaches the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s “founding” document between indigenous peoples and colonists signed in 1851.
88        “Farming communities are more threatened now by the so-called solutions to climate change promoted by corporate interests, G8 countries, the World Trade Organization and the World Bank, than by climate change in itself.” -Via Campesina
89        Under the Kyoto Protocol, the Jepirachi wind project received financing as a Clean Development Mechanism to construct a windmill farm in Colombia. The land being developed belongs to the indigenous Wayuu people, who did not want it. Over 200 Wayuu are alleged to have been killed in the ensuing land struggle. To add insult to injury, the windmills primarily provide power to the largest open-pit coal mine in the world!
90        One of the first carbon offset projects involved planting trees in Mount Elgon National Park, Uganda by Dutch coal utilities. 6000 members of the Bagisu tribe, which lived in the area for centuries, had been forcibly displaced from the Park.
91        Plantar is seeking Clean Development Mechanism funding to plant 23,130 hectares of land in monoculture eucalyptus plantations in Brazil. Much of this land is publicly owned and used communally by peasants. The tree plantations will expropriate communal lands and put them in private hands.
92        South Africa’s proposed $15 million Clean Development Mechanism pilot: Generating methane at the environmentally-racist Bisasar Road dump, situated in the apartheid-era black residential suburb of Durban. This will increase pollution and could keep the facility open for an extra 15 years.
93        Sajida Khan (1952-2007), famed environmental campaigner of Durban, South Africa, lost her life to cancer while fighting to close the dump, which is a hotbed for illness.
94        The Chinese government evicted 7,500 people to build the Xiaoxi Dam. In the EU this would be illegal, as it fails to meet World Commission on Dams guidelines. Still, EU companies are able to offset their emissions financing this dam.
95        Many offsets are straight up scams.
96        “A French chemical company (Rhodia) operating in South Korea is anticipating $1 billion in carbon offset credits for investing $15 million in equipment to destroy nitrous oxide byproducts, using 1970s technology” -Wall St. Journal (05/23/08)
97        South Africa’s largest Clean Development Mechanism huckster is the apartheid-era coal/gas-to-oil corporation is SASOL, who attempted in 2008 to scam the United Nations CDM panel into granting it offset credits for a pipeline it had planned well before the CDM panel even began its work!
98        In 2009, Head of the Papua New Guinea Office of Climate Change, Theo Yasause, was removed after fake carbon certificates with his signature valued at $100 million were given to landowners to get them to sign over the rights to their forests.
99        Oil companies in Nigeria are poised to make huge sums of money by selling carbon credits for stopping gas flaring, despite the fact that gas flaring is supposed to be illegal in the first place.
100      SRF, an Indian company that produces refrigeration gases in Rajasthan, made £300 million from selling carbon offset credits, after spending only £1.4 million on equipment to reduce its emissions. The money earned was used to build more polluting chemical factories, thus raising emissions.
101      The 2 top offset auditors for the UN have been suspended for repeatedly approving faulty offset projects.
102      Offset money often goes to fossil fuel polluters.
103      Even new coal plants can receive carbon market funding under the Clean Development Mechanism, which finances so-called “supercritical technology” at India’s coal plants.
104      It will support the construction of one of the world’s top 50 greenhouse gas emitting projects – the $4 billion Tata Ultra Mega coal plants in Mundra, India.
105      “In an absurd contradiction the World Bank facilitates these false, market-based approaches to climate change while at the same time it is promoting, on a far greater scale, the continued exploration for, and extraction and burning of fossil fuels – many of which are to ensure increased emissions of the North.” Marcelo Calazans, Federation of Organizations for Social and Educational Assistance, Brazil
106      Carbon financing justified World Bank funding of the Allain Duhangan hydropower plant in Himachal Pradesh, India – one of the most controversial dam projects in the world.
107      The World Bank supported a 3,500 hectare tree plantation in the states of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, India.
108      Many not-so-clean, sustainable, and “green” projects are getting carbon financing as offsets – leading to increased fossil fuel pollution in rich countries, “offset” with environmental destruction in poorer ones.
109      “The reduction targets that are currently under discussion for a post-2012 climate agreement are not strong enough to create a balance between supply and demand, and either forest based carbon credits reduce the price of carbon or, if the sale of forest based credits were restricted, insufficient funds would be generated to make a significant dent in deforestation rates.” – Forests and the European Resource Network
110      Carbon markets are encouraging development of genetically engineered tree plantations for carbon sinks.
111      Dams receive Clean Development Mechanism financing despite being a major source of methane emissions. Massive amounts of methane are released as organic matter decomposes under water.
112      It is estimated that 40-80 million people have been displaced by hydroelectric dams. More than a few of these dams were financed via Clean Development Mechanisms.
113      The Grand Inga dam in the Democratic Republic of Congo will destroy a vast natural habitat and aggravate the external debt, while bringing no benefits for local people. Still, it is eligible for Clean Development Mechanism financing.
114      REDD, and more broadly, “forest offsets”, are nothing more than an attempt to sweeten “business as usual” environmental practices in developing countries with a few payouts to their governments.
115      “Research is increasingly showing that attributing a price to forest carbon will not be enough to save the forests or protect the climate and may lead to massive land grabs.” -FERN (Forests and the European Resource Network)
116      Reuters has reported that organized crime syndicates are eyeing the REDD forest carbon credit industry as a potentially lucrative new opportunity for fraud.
117      With REDD, “Companies would then buy cheap credits and continue doing business as usual rather than cutting their own emissions.”- Economist Magazine
118      Carbon takes millions of years to become stored in fossil fuels again. More vegetation is not equal to leaving carbon in the ground.
119      Forest offsets are largely frauds, because it is nearly impossible to accurately calculate the carbon-sequestering abilities of a forest with any degree of certainty.
120      REDD projects will be almost impossible to verify because of leakage (i.e., protecting forests in one area just leads to deforestation in an adjacent area) and non-permanence (i.e., forests certified as “protected” one day could be destroyed another) issues.
121      The UNFCCC definition of forests includes plantations (and even clearcuts, which are “temporarily unstocked areas”). Thus a country could create large “temporarily unstocked areas” by clearcutting forests before replacing them with monocultures, without causing any deforestation, according to UNFCCC.
122      REDD frameworks do not recognize indigenous rights and encourage encroachments upon indigenous lands and cultures.
123      Commodifying forest carbon is inherently inequitable, since it discriminates against people, and especially women, who previously had free access to the forest resources they need to raise and care for their families, but cannot afford to buy forest products or alternatives.
124      REDD compensation payments to governments may create a disincentive for government authorities to resolve long-standing land disputes in forest areas.
125      REDD pilot projects have already exacerbated eviction, fraud, conflict, corruption, coercion, and militarization.
126      In one case illustrating the deceptive practices companies use to gain control of forests for offset credits, a tribal representative in Papua New Guinea told newspaper Sydney Morning Herald he had been coerced into signing a memorandum of understanding that gave company Nupan power over his land, saying, ‘I couldn’t do anything … So I just went ahead and signed it.”
127      Indigenous Peoples could lose their land or other forms of collateral and/or have to reimburse carbon traders with money if a REDD project fails.
128      REDD could cause conflict over resources, forced relocation, and displacement.
129      REDD could criminalize indigenous livelihoods and blame Indigenous Peoples for climate change.
130      REDD could marginalize the landless.
131      REDD could privilege “Carbon Rights” over Human Rights.
132      REDD could repeat the mistakes of Clean Development Mechanism projects and encourage projects in areas of armed conflict.
133      The UNEP-funded Mau forest project in Kenya has added yet another case to the list of carbon offset projects triggering serious human rights violations: the Mau forest was made ‘ready’ for this carbon offset project by forceful and violent eviction of its inhabitants, including the Indigenous Ogiek People.
134      Industrial-scale trash burning is one of the fastest-growing energy sources being marketed as “green energy”.
135      By capturing methane and using it as fuel to produce electricity, landfill owners in the US can receive an income for selling carbon credits in the voluntary market. The investment pays off by itself, so the carbon offset revenue is a windfall profit.
136      By subsidizing incineration and landfills, carbon credits encourage increased waste of valuable resources.
137      Both the Senate and House cap and trade bills will provide massive incentives for biomass and waste incinerators.
138      Incinerators burn valuable resources. Over 90% of materials used to fuel incinerators could be recycled or composted.
139      Incinerators are one of the leading causes of dioxins and other toxic air emissions, and other predominantly sited in working class, Indigenous and people of color communities.
140      Incinerators emit more CO2 per kWh than coal plants
141      Waste incineration is amongst the largest categories of carbon offset projects. Here’s some of the worst of the worst:
142      Cixi City, Zhejian Province, China
143      Incineration of municipal solid waste and sewage sludge in Shaoxing City, People’s Republic of China
144      Linyi City, Shandong Province, China
145      Municipal Solid Waste Processing in the city of Chandigarh, India
146      PT Navigat Organic Energy Indonesia Integrated Solid Waste Management (GALFAD) Project in Bali, Indonesia
147      SESL 6 MW Municipal Solid Waste based Power Project Vijaywada & Guntur, India
148      Sidoarjo, Java, Indonesia
149      The Timarpur-Okhla Waste Management Company Pvt Ltd’s project at Delhi, India
150      The UN oversees over 1000 offset programs under the guise of the “Clean Development Mechanism.” Many CDM projects have proven to be total failures.
151      Coal bed methane extraction is the leading benefactor of the voluntary offset market in the US.
152      Coal bed methane extraction is a method by which methane within a coal seam is separated and removed for use as natural gas; through the Clean Development Mechanism, 12,799,507 carbon credits have been granted for coal bed methane projects.
153      The average project removes over 6 million gallons of water a year from coal bed aquifers, lowering the water table and often drying wells.
154      The whole scheme subsidizes and promotes the dirtiest fossil fuel out there: Coal!
155      Coal bed methane extraction requires extensive infrastructure, including roads, wells, pipelines, containment ponds, and compressor stations. Such projects generate unaccounted for “life cycle emissions” which significantly decrease the “emissions savings” of this form of energy production.
156      Water quality of the area surrounding the extraction site is threatened by highly saline water that is pumped out of the coal seams as well as the chemicals used to coax methane out of the coal bed.
157      While preventing methane from entering the atmosphere is a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, CO2 is released when it is burned.
158      “The potential size and scope of a structured carbon emissions market in the U.S. is unequivocally vast. It is certainly possible that the emissions market could overtake all other commodity markets.”  Bart Chilton, Commissioner, U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission
159      US climate legislation would allow the use of 2 billion tons worth of carbon offsets by American industries in the US / year – equivalent to 1/3 of all US emissions.
160      Taking into account this offset allowance, gross emissions in the US could actually increase by 1/6 over the next 10 years, especially with the meager 17% reductions planned by the legislation
161      Capitalism is at the heart of the climate crisis. We cannot count on it for providing solutions to the problem it has fueled – climate change.
162      Carbon offsets allow environmental value to be negotiable, when science tells us the exact measures necessary to protect our future.
163      The profit motive of carbon trading requires growth. Growth spurs unnecessary energy use, which results in more emissions, which cannot be canceled out in the columns of their balance sheets.
164      Carbon trading is based on an ideological belief in the omnipotence of the market.
165      NRG Energy built a 1,700mw coal plant in Texas. The Environmental Defense Fund was against it, but dropped its opposition when NRG agreed to offset half of its emissions.
166      Time after time, privatization has been a disaster in the Global South when services such as water, education and health care were privatized. This time, the effects of leaving important things to the market cannot be undone!
167      Carbon trading is a complex, artificially-created market subject to the same failures as the subprime housing market.
168      “Subprime carbon” are risky carbon offset credits based on uncompleted offset projects that may ultimately fail to reduce greenhouse gases and, like subprime mortgages, could collapse in value.
169      “The global economic downturn and a growing trade in sovereign emissions rights are combining to create a ‘perfect storm’ that threatens to derail already sluggish efforts to cut greenhouse gases in poor countries.” -Reuters (06/05/09)
170      Subprime carbon can cause more than just an economic collapse. This time, it will be more than homes getting foreclosed on.
171      The entire process is a corporate-driven conflict of interest: Private firms propose the projects and the methodologies to evaluate them. The system is tweaked in favor of private enterprise rather than the public interest, since the system is run by the private sector.
173      SGS, the world’s largest auditor of clean-energy projects was suspended by United Nations inspectors in September 2009 because it was unable to prove its staff had properly vetted projects that were then approved for the EU’s carbon trading scheme.
172      The suspension of SGS wasn’t the first for carbon market “watchdogs” – Norway’s Det Norske Veritas was penalized in November 2008 for similar infractions.
174      Anyone remember Enron and Arthur Anderson?
175      Just look at the history of the idea of carbon markets!
176      “Enron immediately embarked on a massive lobbying effort to develop a trading system for carbon dioxide[…]Between 1994 and 1996, the Enron Foundation donated $1-million to [leading carbon trading advocate] the Nature Conservancy […]Lay and other individuals associated with Enron donated $1.5-million to environmental groups seeking international controls on carbon dioxide.” Financial Post (May 30, 2009)
177      “[I]t is not an exaggeration to brand the mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol as ‘Made in the USA.’ . . . The sensitivity of the Protocol to the market was largely instigated by the negotiating positions of the USA.”  -Michael Zammit Cutajar, former Executive Secretary, UNFCCC, 2004
178      Deals with Devils: The Environmental Defense Fund created the “Environmental Resources Trust” to promote carbon trading. The ERT is chaired by Clayland Boyden Gray, Bush’s ambassador to the EU, a longtime opponent of global warming treaties and environmentalists. -nonprofitwatch.org
179      Kyoto “would do more to promote Enron’s business than will almost any other regulatory initiative.” ~ Ken Lay, former CEO of Enron, sent in a 1998 letter to Bill Clinton
180      It encourages a revolving door between NGO’s and the energy market, and thus a reliance on energy industry “experts” influenced by the business culture and priorities of the fossil fuel industry.
181      The UN body which approves carbon market transactions relies heavily on third-party verifiers whose wages are ultimately paid by the very corporations seeking approval. This conflict-of-interest  creates pressure for the transactions to be approved.
182      Carbon trading undermines, replaces and even outlaws other regulations.
183      A leaked government memo in the UK showed that the government was thinking of dropping renewable energy targets, as they were “interfering” with the carbon market.
184      A simple, non-negotiable cap on emissions would be much more effective.
185      Carbon trading would strip the EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.
186      It discourages enacting new GHG-reducing laws because legally-mandated greenhouse gas reductions are ineligible for financial benefits of the Clean Development Mechanisms.
187      It rewards corporations whose governments lack emissions reduction laws. Companies should not be able to receive funds for emissions reduction while they simultaneously are lobbying/bribing against GHG regulations.
188      When carbon permits are auctioned, governments often use the income to aid research and development for status quo fossil fuel polluters as well as subsidizing dubious  solutions
189      The promised expansion of carbon financing keeps the geoengineering industry dreaming about large-scale intentional manipulation of the earth by fertilizing the ocean, shooting sulphates into the stratosphere or putting mirrors in space.
190      When revenue from permit give-a-ways and subsidies to fossil fuel industry research are added together, status quo polluters  get about 80% of the income generated from the  The American Clean Energy and Security act.
191      The bill encourages encourage genetically modified, fossil-fuel-fertilizer-intensive, pesticide-drenched “no-till” farming, instead of organic farming.
192      In the  The American Clean Energy and Security act  almost none of the proceeds from the meager 15% of permits auctioned sold goes to creating “green jobs” – indeed nearly 6 times as much goes to subsidizing research into clean coal.
193      It promotes “clean” coal by providing incentives for carbon capture and sequestration technology. Even if CCS worked, it ignores the devastating impacts of coal from cradle to grave lifecycle impacts.
194      Carbon trading promotes the expansion of biofuels. Biofuels rarely reduce carbon emissions, result in deforestation, and force people to compete with machines for food..
195      Ethanol plants pollute water. They generate 13 liters of wastewater for every liter of ethanol produced.
196      Bio-diesel from palm oil has led to increased planting in clear cut areas. This reduces the amount of carbon tied up in biomass, which means a net increase in atmospheric CO2.
197      Biofuel crops could  put an unbearable strain on the global water supply: Replacing 50 percent of the fossil fuels used annually with biofuels would require up to 12,000 extra cubic kilometers of water a year- the total annual flow down the world’s rivers is 14,000 cubic kilometers.
198      Converting rainforests, peatlands, savannahs or grasslands to grow fuel crops releases CO2, in some cases a staggering 420 times more CO2 than from burning fossil fuel.
199      Ethanol is directly linked to the Gulf of Mexico dead zone. If farmers produced enough corn to meet the congressional goal of producing 15 billion gallons of ethanol by 2022, nitrogen runoff into the Gulf would increase by 10% to 19%.
200      Growing plants for fuel will accelerate already unacceptable levels of topsoil erosion, soil carbon and nutrient depletion, soil compaction, water retention, water depletion, water pollution, air pollution, eutrophication, destruction of fisheries, siltation of dams and waterways, salination, loss of biodiversity, and damage to human health.
201      The biofuels craze could starve people: The surge in ethanol production will translate into higher prices for both processed and staple foods around the world.
202      The expansion of palm oil production is one of the leading causes of rainforest destruction in south-east Asia.
203      High volume production of biofuels will favor industrial-style, high-volume, high-capital, low-labor agriculture that will force more people off farms and out of small villages into mega-cities.
204      Using fertilizer on biofuel crops will emit enough nitrous oxide (as a heat-trapping gas, more than 296 times more powerful than CO2) to wipe out all the carbon savings biofuels produce.
205      Carbon trading promotes the use of nuclear energy as a no-emission technology. Which it’s not.
206      Demand would greatly outstrip supply–In fact, the current global capability is to produce 8 reactors per year.
207      Nukes are too expensive–Nuclear power is now so expensive that if we tried to use it as a climate change mitigation strategy, we would blow through our resources and be left with no options whatsoever.
208      New nukes take too long–Even the industry’s Nuclear Energy Institute predicts only about 4 new reactors in the US by 2020
209      Renewables and efficiency are faster, cheaper, safer and cleaner than nuclear power–In short, energy efficiency programs are beginning to work.
210      “Exelon, the nation’s largest nuclear power company, stands to rake in roughly an extra $1 billion to $1.5 billion a year if the House (cap and trade) climate change bill passes, according to the company’s own estimates.” -Huffington Post
211      Emissions free? Not even close– Every nuclear facility of any kind, emits radioactive elements into our air and water on a daily basis, even when everything goes right.
212      It takes too many nukes– It would take 1500-2,000 new nuclear reactors or more by mid-century, 300-400 in the U.S. alone, to make any kind of meaningful reduction in carbon emissions—by meaningful, I mean even a 20% reduction.
213      Not suited for warming climates–Reactors require large amounts of water for cooling. As climate change heats our water, nuclear power stations will close more and more frequently. Several nuke plants have already had to shutdown during unprecedented heat waves.
214      Nukes are unsafe–The reality is that reactor design—at least for those planned by nuclear utilities—has progressed remarkably little since the 1960s. But not a single reactor being seriously proposed anywhere in the world even claims to be an “”inherently safe”” design—not that any such thing exists at all.
215      Nukes aren’t carbon free–It’s true that nuclear reactors themselves emit only small amounts of carbon. In fact, the mining, milling, processing, enrichment and fuel fabrication of uranium, not to mention the construction of enormous reactors made of concrete, steel, and the millions of gallons of gasoline involved, leaves a fairly significant carbon footprint.
216      The US Department of Energy states there are “millions of gallons of radioactive waste” as well as “thousands of tons of spent nuclear fuel and material” and also “huge quantities of contaminated soil and water” produced by nuclear facilities that require storage. And yet there is still no permanent place to store them in the US.
217 – 259         Under the proposed carbon trading bill in the United States congress,  43 proposed coal plants will be grandfathered in as a compromise to the big polluters who largely drafted the bill. These new plants will add more than 150 MILLION tons of C02 to the atmosphere every year for decades to come, and continue our addiction to fossil fuels.
260      Coal mining in Happy Valley, on New Zealand’s South Island, is set to proceed despite their Kyoto commitments – a massive climate crime.
261      In order to pass a carbon trading bill in the United States, experts expect that negotiating a “deal with the devil” to allow Offshore Drilling will be required.
262      Due to it’s lower C02 content, natural gas use is increasing rather than decreasing under carbon trading schemes. But by ignoring the “lifecycle” impacts of natural gas, carbon trading wreaks havoc on communities worldwide and continues our reliance on fossil fuels.
263      LNG has lifecycle emissions approaching that of coal.
264      Emissions generated by the importation of LNG aren’t considered as part of the emissions cap  so that LNG imports are strongly encouraged by carbon trading.
265      There are 29 approved or proposed “liquefied” natural gas (LNG) importation terminals planned in the US.
266      Agricultural industries aren’t included in the emissions cap under The American Clean Energy and Security act, even though they are responsible for 8% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US.
267      Carbon trading largely fails to address the largest single energy consumer in the world, the US Department of Defense – upward estimates put oil use by the DoD as high as the country
 of Indonesia (population 235 million).”
268      There are alternative policies.
269      “Ladies and gentlemen, I have the answer! Incredible as it might seem, I have stumbled across the single technology which will save us from runaway climate change! From the goodness of my heart I offer it to you for free. No patents, no small print, no hidden clauses. Already this technology, a radical new kind of carbon capture and storage, is causing a stir among scientists. It is cheap, it is efficient and it can be deployed straightaway. It is called… leaving fossil fuels in the ground.” George Monbiot, Columnist with the Guardian UK”
270      An Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard that reduces energy demand by 50% in 20-30 years, across the transportation, heating and electricity energy sectors.
271      A Clean Energy Portfolio Standard that meets the demands of the other 50% with wind, solar and ocean power (some small-scale micro-hyrdo or closed-loop geothermal) within the same time frame.
272      Creating a “Superfund for Workers” job retraining program to make this transition possible, targeting the urban and rural communities who are most in need.
273      Implement a zero-cut policy on our National Forests to keep forest carbon intact.
274      Remove all subsidies from fossil fuels, nuclear power, biomass/incineration, biofuels, and eliminate at least half of the military budget and shift the savings  to energy demand reduction and clean energy initiatives.
275      Set a national “zero waste” policy, starting with the 75% national recycling/composting target (a goal endorsed by unions as well as climate activists).
276      Shift farm subsidies from industrial agri-business to locally oriented sustainable food systems.
277      The Rodale Institute has found that if all corn and soybeans in the US were grown organically up to 560 billion pounds of carbon could be sequestered annually from the atmosphere.
278      The USDA can promote agricultural practices that sequester carbon into the soil, creating carbon sinks not tied to offsets.
279      Use the millions of dollars the Forest Service spends to subsidize logging to fund real ecosystem restoration, creating carbon sinks not tied to offsets.
280      Grassroots alternatives provide solutions that nurture communities not corporations.
281      Local currencies and time banks re-localize economics and create a system of exchange based on community and mutual aid rather than unsustainable consumption and social inequality.
282      Organizing skill-shares and sharing tools and other resources can help build community self-sufficiency.
283      “Bike culture” – community rides, car-free days, maintenance skill building, and bike sharing programs have created community-based alternatives to automobile-domination in cities worldwide.
284      Cohousing, resident-developed neighborhoods centered around a common house, dramatically reduces resource consumption while building a new model of social interaction.
285      Permaculture – a method of agriculture and community design that uses a model based on natural ecosystems to relocalize and integrate sustainable food production into human settlements.
286      Reduce our consumption of meat. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization found that meat production is responsible for 18% of all human induced greenhouse gases.
287      Support for struggles of resistance to resource colonialism, from Appalachia to Iraq, supports the creation of alternatives by taking on the government and business interests fueling climate change.
288      “Transition Towns”, of which there are currently 227 official initiatives, are attempts to address climate change and peak oil by increasing resilience and reducing carbon emissions as a community.
289      Direct resistance to fossil fuels correctly identifies the root cause of climate chaos.
290      Anti-natural gas imperialism in Bolivia [image]
291      Protesting the Asian Development Bank’s role in dirty energy development in Thailand [image]
292      Protesting coal in Bangladesh [image]
293      Anti-coal billboard alteration in Australia [image]
294      Coal port kayak blockade in Australia [image]
295      Protesting natural gas expansion in Irkutsk [image]
296      Anti- “mountaintop removal” coal mining in Appalachia US [image]
297      Rising Tide Coal plant blockade in Appalachia US [image]
298      Airport shut down in the UK [image]
299      Ken Saro-Wiwa was martyred fighting big oil in Nigeria [image]
300      Indigenous resistance to coal in the US southwest [image]
301      Anti-oil resistance in Thailand [image]
302      Blockading natural gas expansion in the US [image]
303      The oil enforcement agency fighting highway expansion. [image]
304      Opposition to Carbon Trading is mounting.
305      “The only defense of this monstrous absurdity that I have heard is ‘well, you are right, it’s no good, but the train has left the station.’ If the train has left, it had better be derailed soon or the planet, and all of us, will be in deep do-do.”” ~ Dr. James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Regarded as one of a handful of top global experts on climate change and the scientist most responsible for the development of the 350ppm target.
306      “If we hold up banners saying climate change kills and we want more government action, the very power groups driving the destruction will cheer and might give us even more carbon finance or agrofuels. The time for marching for ‘global action on climate change’ without denouncing the false solutions and the drivers of climate change is over.” -Simone Lovera, activist with Friends of the Earth Paraguay and the Global Forest Coalition
307      Art exposing the carbon market fraud. [image]
308      Cap’n Trade interrupting the speech of the Danish climate minister. [image]
309      Indigenous resistance to REDD at the UN. [image]
310      Taking action against crony environmental groups like Environmental Defense. [image]
311      Anti-offset office occupation by the “Red Herrings for Carbon Trading” [image]
312      Sweeping the coal under the rug at the Carbon Neutral Company, UK [image]
313      Interrupting the first US carbon market conference with a presentation of a Deed to the Sky [image]
314      Speaking truth to power at the UNFCCC [image]
315      Anti-carbon trading banner hang targets the New York city UN meetings. [image]
316      Dancing against forest offsets in Bali [image]
317      Protesting research on genetically engineered “carbon sucking” trees. [image]
318      Protests drove Occidental Petroleum out of Ecuador
319      All-female anti-liquefied natural gas action in US  29 declarations of social movements against carbon trading:
320      Mount Tamalpais Declaration, 2000
321      Mount Kenya Declaration on the Global Crisis and Africa’s Responsibility 31 May 2009
322      IV Continental Summit Indigenous peoples Abya Yala:: Mama Quta Titikaka Declaration 31 May 2009
323      Bali Declaration: 10 December 2007
324      People’s Protocol on Climate Change, 15 December 2008
325      Report of Asia Summit on Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples , 5 June 2009
326      14th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC Poznan Policy Positions International Youth Delegation Policy Positions: December 2008
327      World Social Forum Climate Justice Assembly Declaration 1 February 2009 Belem
328      Milan Declaration of the 6th International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change 30 November 2003
329      Hague Declaration of the Second International Forum of Indigenous and Local Communities on Climate Change 12 November 2000
330      The Durban Declaration on Carbon Trading , 10 October 2004
331      Biochar Declaration 2009 :‘Biochar’, a new big threat to people, land, and ecosystems
332      Nairobi Declaration, Africa Peoples Movement on Climate Change (A-PMCC) 30 August 2009
333      The California Environmental Justice Movement’s Declaration Against the Use of Carbon Trading Schemes to Address Climate Change, 19 February 2008
334      Bali Principles of Climate Justice 29 August 2002
335      Quito Declaration 4 May 2000
336      Plataforma Boliviana Frente al Cambio Climático INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE JUSTICE TRIBUNAL 14 October 2009
337      The better world we seek is not Geo-engineered! A Civil Society Statement against Ocean Fertilization. 10 March 2009
338      Declaration of Women in Asia on Climate Change 29 September 2009
339      Indigenous Environmental Network Report Calls For The Rejection Of REDD 02 October 2009
340      Delhi Climate Justice Declaration 1 Nov 2002
341      The Anchorage Declaration 24 April 2009 – Indigenous People’s Global Summit on Climate Change
342      The Albuquerque Declaration November 1, 1998
345      Lyon Declaration of the First International Forum of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities on Climate Change 6 September 2000
346      The Bonn Declaration Third International Forum of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities on Climate Change July 14 15, 2001
347      INTERNATIONAL INDIAN TREATY COUNCIL 34th ANNUAL CONFERENCE, Resolution on the Protection of the Environment and biodiversity: Climate Change, Mining, Oil, Water and Natural Resources 22 June 2008
348      Via Campesina position on UNFCCC 5 December 2008
349      Because you care about your children and their children.
350      Because nearly 100 people, from 6 continents and 13 countries, cared enough about the climate and human rights to volunteer time and contribute reasons to make this project possible: HUGE Thanks to everyone!

For more information, visit:  http://www.wihrg.com and http://www.350reasons.org/

Sources: Rising Tide North America, GAIA, Carbon Trade Watch and WIH Resource Group

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2 comments on “350 Reasons Why Carbon Trading Won’t Work

  1. henrylow says:

    The Center for Media Research has released a study by Vertical Response that shows just where many of these ‘Main Street’ players are going with their online dollars. The big winners: e-mail and social media. With only 3.8% of small business folks NOT planning on using e-mail marketing and with social media carrying the perception of being free (which they so rudely discover it is far from free) this should make some in the banner and search crowd a little wary.



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