Environmental Justice Movement says NO to Carbon Trading!

20 02 2008


Hot on the heels of an amazing speaking tour by members of the Durban Group for Climate Justice – a coalition of mostly California-based groups spoke out today opposing carbon-trading schemes. Issuing The California Environmental Justice Movement’s Declaration Against Use of Carbon Trading Schemes to Address Climate Change – the groups argued that such systems are inadequate to confront the climate crisis; marginalize front-lines communities fighting environmental justice battles; and are designed to benefit corporate interests – not communities or the climate.

Endorsing organizations include California Communities Against Toxics, California Environmental Rights Alliance, Carbon Trade Watch, Communities for a Better Environment, GreenAction, Rainforest Action Network, West County Toxics Coalition and many more.

Interesting factoid – Does anyone know what organization had the largest delegation in Bali? It wasn’t the usual suspects of Greenpeace, or Friends of the Earth – it was the pro-carbon trading lobbing group – the International Emissions Trading Association. Why? Because the idea of creating a trade-able commodity of our atmosphere means trillions of dollars – in a market that working-class people have no access to – but multi-national corporations, banks, brokers, and investors are giddy over.

In addition to the myriad reasons to oppose carbon trading – here’s a big unintended, but very real consequence. We have a hard enough battle in the climate movement already fighting the lobbying interests of Big Oil, King Coal, and the Big 6. But a carbon trading scheme entails a whole new cadre of lobbyists – the brokers and traders and middle-men who have a vested interest in trading away our atmosphere and our future. A zero-carbon economy doesn’t leave many carbon credits to play and profit with – and they will help further delay our transition to a clean energy future.

  • Press ReleaseDownload PDF
  • California Environmental Justice Movement’s Declaration Against Use of Carbon Trading Schemes to Address Climate ChangeDownload PDF
  • Signatories Download PDF
  • Factsheet: The Cap and Trade Charade for Climate Change Download PDF
  • Article “Cap and Charade: The political and business self-interest behind carbon limits,” Wall Street Journal, March 2007. – Link to article.

See the entire press release below – or visit www.ejmatters.org to learn more or sign the declaration!


The Coalition Demands that California Adopt Policies that Truly Address Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Protects Communities

On Tuesday, February 19, 2008, Environmental Justice (EJ) advocates gathered at 5 locations across California for a teleconference to discuss the release of The California Environmental Justice Movement’s Declaration Against Use of Carbon Trading Schemes to Address Climate Change. The Declaration details the environmental justice community’s opposition to the use of carbon trading and offsets to address climate change because of their failure to achieve actual emissions reductions, the irreconcilable problems with trading experiments and offset use, and because of their inability to cause a timely change in the way we make and use energy.

Rather, Environmental Justice advocates are calling for policies that focus on moving the state away from burning fossil fuels for energy because such fuels are the overwhelming contributor to climate change and have devastating impacts on poor, low-income and communities of color in California and around the world. The coalition supports use of transparent carbon pricing mechanisms such as a carbon fee.

Environmental Justice advocates from around the state as well as internationally known environmental expert, Larry Lohman from the UK (a founder of the international Durban Group and editor of Carbon Trading: A Critical Conversation on Climate Change, Privatisation and Power, which documents the numerous failures of the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and oppression in the Global South from the use of carbon “offsets”), were on the call. The Declaration currently has support from xxx organizations and individuals from throughout California and beyond. The Coalition urges others to join this Coalition to demand that California reject the fundamentally flawed trading and offsets approach but instead adopts policies that directly and significantly reduce emissions, require the shift away from use of fossil fuels and nuclear power, and do not cause or exacerbate the pollution burden of poor communities of color in the United States and developing nations around the world.

To get the full text of the declaration, to join the coalition, to subscribe to our new newsletter, for additional information about the failures of trading, learn about the problems with offset use, read about how carbon fees can help, and to hear the discussion, visit our new website at http://www.ejmatters.org




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