Carbon trading hurts the poor


The international attempt to mitigate the growth in concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) through carbon credit harms the poor more than the Greenhouse Gas concentration effects and it is the act of enclosing the common. Under the Kyoto agreement, developed nations excluding America which never subscribed to the agreement are required to reduce their emissions of certain gases by 5% below 1991 levels and if a nation cannot meet the target, it is obligated to purchase “carbon credit” through what is known as Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), a scheme that identifies and funds projects in emerging economies not subject to emission limits but this seems not the best way.

Carbon trading is however an inequality approach to sustainable development in that it focuses on mitigating greenhouse gases in poor countries with lower carbon footprint (emission) as opposed to the developed countries with high emission rate. This market mechanisms which is aimed at driving the industrial and commercial processes in the direction of low emission is hurting the poor people in developing countries than the intended benefit because it is full of fraud, theft, and controversy over offsets and this might cause the booming carbon market to dry up in case a new carbon market mechanism does not take the Kyoto protocol when it expires and beside the life span of Kyoto remains at a balance with America refusing to consent to the agreement and yet it is the largest emitter, hypothesize weaknesses of the protocol.

It is however true that environmental destructive act anywhere is bad for us all and that any environmentally positive act is good for everyone but in this case of carbon trading the truth is that, poor people where once paid to destroy the forest and they are being paid again to build it back and maintain the existing once however the business has come at a time when the poor does not need trading and may be hurting the poor more than good since the world trade has been converted into a machine of destruction to the poor and unfortunately in the last decades its greed extended to the scope of diversity and the controversy is food supply and agriculture.

Food supply and agriculture is suffering in the hands of carbon credit simply because the industrialized countries, World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are financing mechanism of reducing greenhouse gases in poor countries only through projects like conserving forests, wetland and tree planting but these has immense negative impact onto the poor such as; people are being forced to sell their land to the investors who have access to carbon market for tree planting projects, rural communities are being evicted from their areas of settlement in the name of conserving environment, some communities have been given tree planting projects without being informed of the side effects and these signifies that up to about 40 years for the lost of the land to the farmers because it takes around 20 years for some of these tree species to be harvested and another 20 years to reclaim the land and this indirectly means agriculture is suspended for all these years and yet it is the main source of revenue and food for the developing countries.

It becomes very unrealistic in a scientific thinking for a country like Uganda which has 25% of its land covered by water and a projected population of about 32.9 million and it is expected to explode to 130 million by 2050, a population which solely depends on agriculture and bearing in mind that land is fixed to emphasized tree planting at the expense of food production. Carbon credit is a liability more than an asset to the developing countries; beside these countries are lowest emitters for instance Uganda only emit 0.01% of the greenhouse gas. This act of converting environment into merchandise is enclosing the commons at the expense of the poor.



One Response to “Carbon trading hurts the poor”

  1. ngoziokei Says:

    O! a big yes. There is a big wide gap between life/activities of the past and the present/future. Again it is the globalization effect to the entire world that has caused the big change. Of course globalization is good, but it has also caused a bad effect along with it.

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