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Carbon Credits Fever “now As Big A Threat To Indigenous Lands As Logging And Mining”

As COP28 prepares to pave the way for a massive expansion in the market for carbon credits, campaigners have warned that they now represent “as big a threat to Indigenous lands as logging and mining.”

Indigenous rights organization Survival International said today: “COP28 could be the “Blood Carbon COP”, when governments, big business and conservation NGOs work together to boost the carbon credits market, rather than seriously address the real causes of the climate crisis.

“This could be disastrous for Indigenous peoples. Carbon credits represent a major new way for governments, corporations and conservation NGOs to profit from the theft of Indigenous lands, and they’re already doing so.

“Furthermore, the ‘verification process’ for carbon credits is broken beyond repair. For example, Survival’s exposé of the flagship carbon credits project run by the Northern Rangelands Trust in Kenya revealed major deficiencies in a project used by Meta and Netflix to offset their carbon emissions. Not only does the project not have the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of the Indigenous inhabitants of the land, it doesn’t even store any additional carbon.

“Yet a ‘review’ of the project by Verra – the same company that makes its money from these schemes – has allowed the project to re-start issuing credits, even though none of the major challenges that Survival raised about it have been addressed.

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“Despite Verra, the largest offsetting system in the voluntary carbon markets, now being seen to be fundamentally compromised, negotiators at the COP28 are moving to establish a new global carbon trading system under the UN which largely reflects the same voluntary markets.

“But the whole system is utterly compromised:

  • Big conservation NGOs are waiting in the wings to earn millions of dollars from Indigenous lands that have previously been stolen and turned into Protected Areas.
  • The boom in this market without proper safeguards is turbocharging the creation of new Protected Areas and other offset projects on stolen Indigenous lands.
  • This in turn is destroying the very people who are the best guardians of the natural world, and who have done least to cause the climate crisis.

“Anyone concerned about seriously addressing the climate crisis should oppose carbon credits.”

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