Sunday, November 11, 2007

Carbon trading

"AMY GOODMAN: Daphne Wysham, what’s your problem with it?

DAPHNE WYSHAM: Well, you know, this is a nice abstraction, but what we should be looking at is how carbon trading is playing out in reality. If you look at the EU emissions trading system that was up and running -- has been up and running for several years, we see that emissions are actually up for greenhouse gas emissions, as are profits. Profits are up for the nuclear industry, for the coal industry, and the average consumer is paying more.

Now, the EU emissions trading system, they’ve begun to make changes in that system; however, essentially what carbon trading does is it turns the earth's carbon cycling capacity into property that is to be bought and sold in a global market. And by turning carbon into a commodity, we’re essentially taking the earth's ability to support a climate conducive to life and human societies and passing it into the same corporate hands that are destroying the climate.

So, you know, one of the problems with the parameters of the climate debate is that for too long NGOs have been sort of promoting solutions that have been operating in a vacuum of, you know, analysis of other issues, fundamental issues around who profits, who pays, democracy, power. All of these sorts of things are rarely debated. And as a result, we have a very narrow sort of political space in which we’re now discussing how we move forward on the issue of climate change."

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