MADRID – Several environmental movements raised their voices on Thursday against carbon offset markets, which they consider a useless solution that won’t help to mitigate the effects of climate change, on the fourth day of the ongoing Climate Summit held in Madrid.
Carbon markets “represent a threat to people, politics and the planet,” and are a “green washing” strategy, Tom Goldtooth, director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, said.
Goldtooth, whose networks joins together over 250 indigenous communities in North America, defined the Green New Deal proposed by Western countries as a fraud.
In a bid to destroy the myths surrounding these mechanisms, more than 140 organizations have launched a report to denounce the insertion of Article 6 in the 2015 Paris Agreement because, in their opinion, it’s “a key point in the negotiation in the Climate Summit, which would give governments carte blanche to continue polluting.”
Carbon markets will mean “decades of inaction, distraction and power and energy hoarding by large companies,” Goldtooth added.
According to the report, with the current global emissions rate, carbon budget to keep the temperature rise below 1.5 degrees before 2025 will run out and the carbon markets act “under the false and unscientific premise that emissions compensation and the sale of permits to pollute will reduce global warming.”
Carbon markets “don’t reduce emissions or represent any real action against climate change” but they bring “terrible impacts to indigenous peoples and local communities.”
For Casey Camp-Horinek of The Ponka Nation, these markets are “an environmental genocide.”
“People’s rights of people living in the forest must belong to the people, not the companies,” he said.
Paula Gioia, of the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) highlighted “the urgency and obligation of rich countries to finance poor countries so that they can transition to fair energy systems and be adapted to climate effects.”
Carbon markets shaped the event’s agenda on the same day that some environmental NGOs completed the so-called Toxic Tour, to denounce greenwashing done at COP25 by some of the most polluting companies and banking institutions.
European organizations Ecologistas en Accion, Friends of the Earth, BankTrack, Corporate Europe Observatory and Gastivists, gathered outside the Madrid Stock Exchange and Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with the spirit of seeking solutions to the climate crisis while denouncing the abuses of interest groups of what they have called “fossil capitalism.”
The first stop on the “Toxic Tour” was the Madrid Stock Exchange, where BankTrack activist Lise Mason highlighted the destructive policies of some IBEX 35 companies, the electrical sector and infrastructure, which sponsored large spaces at COP25.
She said the organizations have an “enormous capacity to influence climate negotiations so that they do not undermine their interests,” being “one of the main contributors to the climate crisis,” since they obtain “more than half of the energy electricity produced from the burning of coal and gas.”
Samuel Martin Sosa, international head of Ecologistas en Accion, described large corporations as a “shadow power” that favors climate change by investing “billions of euros in new fossil projects.”
Representatives of the NGO Tierraactiva symbolically denounce “the power of the global economy that had its origin in the colonization of the New World and the plundering of its resources.”
Tierraactiva member Maria Garcia referred to the “sacrifice zones” created by “copper mining in Chile” and hundreds of murdered environmental leaders throughout the Americas.
Pascoe Sabido, a member of the Corporate Europe Observatory, criticised the management of the newly relieved European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action Miguel Arias Cañete.
“Arias Cañete maintained 70% of his meetings with the fossil industry,” he said and added that this “generated clear conflicts of interest between the functions of his position and his performance at the head of it.”