Monday, January 7, 2008

Members of Durban Group For Climate Justice on Carbon Trading Speaking Tour this Winter

In 2004, the Durban Group for Climate Justice convened in Durban, South Africa to question the central role of carbon trading and carbon offsets in governments’ responses to the climate crisis. Members of the Durban Group are traveling in various cities throughout the US and Canada in January, February, and March 2008 to share experiences of the failures of carbon trading in Europe, India, Brazil, Uganda and elsewhere, and to learn more about U.S. carbon trading plans and climate politics.

Four internationally recognized experts, fresh from the climate meetings in Bali, Indonesia, will be visiting campuses and communities Canada, the Midwestern and Western US, Vermont and New York City. With over fifty groups in over forty cities, they’ll speak on carbon trading, carbon offsets, the effects of climate change and current international campaigns to keep the fossil fuels in the ground and affect meaningful change.

The four visiting activists are:

- Larry Lohmann, the editor of Carbon Trading: A Critical Conversation on Climate Change, Privatisation and Power, an exhaustively-documented new book critiquing carbon trading. Carbon trading “dispossesses ordinary people in the South of their lands and futures without resulting in appreciable progress toward alternative energy systems,” says Lohmann. “Tradable rights to pollute are handed out to Northern industry, allowing them to continue to profit from business as usual. At the same time, Northern polluters are encouraged to invest in supposedly carbon-saving projects in the South, very few of which promote clean energy at all.”

- Kevin Smith, a researcher with Carbon Trade Watch. Smith’s report “The Carbon Neutral Myth” documents and exposes the booming industry dedicated to avoiding the core of the climate issue, and offers expert advice on constructive ways forward.

- Tamra Gilbertson, the Coordinator of the Environmental Justice Project at the Transnational Institute and a researcher with Carbon Trade Watch. Gilbertson edited the recent report “Agrofuels - Toward a Reality Check in Nine Areas“. This report documents the use and abuse of biofuels in the Global South, often under the guise of “offsetting” tradeable carbon credits.

- Jutta Kill, the Coordinator of Sinkswatch. In “Forest Fraud - say no to fake carbon credits,” Kill exposes the funding of monoculture tree plantations and the enormous market offering incentives to seize communally-held forests in developing countries. “Indigenous peoples and rural communities already struggling against the encroachment of these ‘green deserts’ onto their lands will be hit twice by climate change.”

For more information and a complete list of tour dates, see: Speaking Tour