Carbon Trading and the World Rainforest Movement
How to Respond to a Proposed New Export Market?

by Larry Lohmann

first published 29 January 2005

Plagued by irresoluble technical and political difficulties, the idea that big tree plantations in the South can be used to soak up industrialised countries' carbon dioxide emissions has been a fizzle.

But the World Bank, large corporations, Washington-based conservation NGOs and some national bureaucracies in Southern countries are now keen on pushing a similar project: encouraging local communities or national governments to sell rights to their native forests' carbon to polluting corporations.

For communities who become involved, the result may be invasions of consultants, lawyers, and accountants; new laws that give companies private property rights that restrict local forest use; exploitative contracts; and political conflicts with other communities who are battling the fossil fuel extraction or pollution that the sale of forestry carbon credits encourages.


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