Civil Society Groups Raise Concerns Over Increasing Push for Carbon Markets, Offsets, and False Solutions like Geoengineering and Land Based Removals During Climate Negotiations

10 July 2023: More than 125 civil society groups have raised concerns over the increasing push for carbon markets, offsets, and false solutions like geoengineering and land based removals during climate negotiations.

“It is absurd that a mechanism under the Paris Agreement would consider accepting geoengineering technologies such as Direct Air Capture, Ocean Fertilization, and techniques to alter ocean chemistry, among others. None of them have a legitimate record of effectively and permanently removing carbon from the atmosphere. In reality, they all entail significant environmental and social risk, while providing an alibi for Big Polluters who won’t reduce emissions. The risks of these technologies are such that they are under moratoria from other UN bodies – the UNFCCC must respect these UN decisions!”, said Silvia Ribeiro, ETC group, México.

The science is as clear as the increasing frequency and violence of climate impacts across the world – no more time can be wasted to take climate action. Big Polluters are carrying on emitting under the cover of deceiving net zero claims while communities and ecosystems across the world suffer immensely. There is an urgent need for real, deep, and urgent emission reductions in line with principles of fair shares starting with just and equitable phase out of fossil fuels.

Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network said, “A global phase out of fossil fuels should be the primary discussion on climate mitigation, not more carbon markets, offsets, pricing and removals that give a free pass to polluters. Indigenous Peoples throughout the world are disproportionately impacted by fossil fuels and the increasing impacts of climate change. More carbon markets, offsets and removals must not be considered as solutions. Indigenous Peoples have experienced 20 years of history with these that have resulted in rights violations, land grabbing, and disproportionate impacts. The Supervisory Body of Article 6.4 of the Paris Agreement must hear our demands to end the era of carbon markets, offsets and carbon pricing. Mother Earth demands that fossil fuels stay in the ground.”

“The UN body discussing provisions regarding carbon removals can’t allow itself to be influenced by the industry and open the door to dangerous distractions in the form of land-based and technological removals. The science and evidence couldn’t be clearer: offsets won’t save the day. They harm communities in the Global South, small peasant farmers, and Indigenous Peoples first and foremost. Let’s stop wasting time and commit to the urgent, deep, and real emission reductions we need,” said Lise Masson, Friends of the Earth International.

Rights groups have also raised concerns over engagement and consultation of stakeholders and other right holders for Article 6.4 of the Paris Agreement by the UNFCCC Supervisory Body that have allowed for disproportionate influence of the Carbon Dioxide Removals (CDR) industry in the policy making process.

“There is a direct and obvious conflict of interest to allow industries that have been fueling climate change as well as distracting and delaying adequate action for decades to be a part of the policy making process. The consultation process held by the Supervisory Body for Article 6.4 has provided a strategic opportunity for pro-markets stakeholders and the CDR industry to strengthen their tactics and therefore render the process deeply flawed. The UNFCCC must not allow this disproportionate influence of the CDR industry to continue and instead prioritize voices of the communities for real, peoples led solutions”, said Gadir Lavadenz, Global Coordinator, Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice.


Read the letter here

Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice is a network of over 200 networks and organizations working globally, regionally, and locally on climate justice. Collectively we represent millions of climate activists on the ground.
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