How Carbon Trading Undermines Positive Approaches to the Climate Crisis

by Larry Lohmann

first published 20 March 2008

Carbon trading proponents often assert that trading is merely a way of finding the most cost-effective means of reaching an emissions goal, a source of funding that leaves everything else exactly as it is. As a powerpoint presentation produced by The Corner House (available upon request) shows, the reality is more complex. Carbon trading undermines a number of existing and proposed positive measures for tackling climate change, including the survival and spread of existing low-carbon technologies, movements against expanded fossil fuel use, and well-tested green policy measures. It also undermines public awareness and political participation as well as creates ignorance.