Climate Change, Carbon Trading and Civil Society
Can global warming be mitigated by carbon trading? With climate change posing perhaps the gravest threat to humanity in coming decades, and with free market economics still dominated by a few wealthy nations, 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. This country pollutes at a rate 20 times higher than even the US, 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 environment minister is a market promoter, alongside the World Bank, the Dutch government, and big oil companies.
Publication Date: 3/19/2009