Cancun Climate Negotiations

The carbon market dream: millions of offsets from land-use “sinks”

November 2010

Econexus and Biofuelwatch

Carbon traders and high emitting Parties would like all land-use to count as carbon sinks to offset sources, delay reducing emissions and make money for carbon markets. There is more than one route to this goal: REDD++ could be one way, and CDM in LULUCF is another, as we shall see. Parties could also be enabled to use every current and future market-based mechanism to meet their reduction commitments. This briefing provides background to these key issues for Cancun.

Carbon markets – A distraction from the real priority: immediate emission reductions

November 2010

Helena Paul

In discussions about climate, market interests are of course focused on finance and how the market can participate. In this context, market interests include not just carbon markets, but also land and commodity markets, mining, timber and paper, that hope to profit from offsets. There is a real risk that their increased participation could give market mechanisms, traders and investors more power over development and also over land than developing countries and their peoples. Before they will commit, market players want incentives to invest, voluntary standards, enhanced returns, reduced risk and guarantees against failure to deliver. Private investors want to greatly expand the carbon markets, where money can be made in the short term, in order to attract traders. They hope to gain from multiple market devices linked to claimed carbon sequestration or emission reductions. This briefing raises some of the issues that must be considered, especially by developing countries and their peoples.

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