Tipping Point (3/5): License to pollute - Carbon markets and the new economy of nature
We start to count as little kids. First our fingers, then our toys, and finally more grown-up things – calories, money, trophies. As a society, we now count our wealth and the CO2 that we emit. If you can quantify something by counting it, you can turn it into a market – right? That’s what countries around the world have tried by setting up emission trading systems. These new markets aim to put a price on carbon, to save emissions where it is cheapest and benefit the global climate. But the approach has failed so far. In the EU, the price for carbon has dropped to a low, so producers can easily continue polluting. And they are actually making huge profits from the permits they receive. Carbon credits are another way for polluters to buy themself out of responsibility. These offsets are often produced in poorer countries, in forests for example. By turning nature into a commodity, indigenous people are often forced to leave or change their traditional ways of life. In this episode, we discuss the side-effects of our new carbon economy with biologist Jutta Kill from Germany and Ivonne Yanez from Acción Ecológica in Ecuador.
Photo: CC-0, pixabay.com
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