Call for Action

Carbon trading initiatives: not always a solution 

While many hope carbon markets, including Green Resources’ development projects, will be part of the solution to the problem of climate change, the report demonstrates carbon trade initiatives do not, by default, deliver positive local level development. Yet these are the very claims on which Green Resources trades; boasting that their activities deliver on climate change mitigation, producing quality wood products, and providing community development and poverty alleviation in Uganda.

This case reveals that pricing carbon imposes new forms of livelihood constraint and abuse, including out-sourcing environmental responsibility for addressing climate change to the Global South. Carbon market monitoring and regulations, including via the Forest Stewardship Council, Clean Development Mechanism, and Climate Community and Biodiversity Standard and other governance arrangements, appear ill-equipped to detect, or respond so as to remedy, these adverse impacts.

The findings of the report call for action on four counts:

1. Investigation regarding third party certification, monitoring and compliance

The Forest Stewardship Council, Clean Development Mechanism, and the Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance have each certified the activities of Green Resources. The company also claims compliance with the guidelines of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity, the International Finance Corporation’s Policy on Social and Environmental Sustainability,

The OECD’s guidelines for multinational corporations, the World Bank’s policy on involuntary resettlement, the African Development Bank Group Involuntary Resettlement Policy, the European Investment Bank’s Environmental and Social Principles and Standards, and the European Development Finance Institutions’ (EDFI), and the IFC’s guidelines on business practices.87

We urge these agencies and bodies to investigate the impacts of Green Resources on local populations and the environment. Any investigation should specifically assess access to food, land, and water as well as employment protocols and working conditions.

2. Investor Accountability

Investors in Green Resources are called upon to hold the company to account by:

a) ensuring that affected communities are given a genuine voice and authority in determining their own future and livelihoods;

b) ensuring that no further forced evictions occur and that those evicted and/or directly affected by the company’s activities are offered the opportunity to resettle and re-establish their access to land, food, shelter and water, or are adequately compensated to support relocation and the establishment of new livelihoods;

c) setting up monitoring arrangements to ensure the ongoing protection of local communities.

3. Reform of global plantation forestry and carbon markets

This should include a critical evaluation of the effectiveness of carbon market audit mechanisms to evaluate the environmental and social claims on which companies such as Green Resources trade. It should also include widening the scope of audit mechanisms beyond the current primary concern with calculative practice (including carbon sequestration and carbon leakage) to consider the profound livelihood impacts for communities as forestry plantations expand and landscapes on which livelihoods depend, shrink.  Reforms should also consider ways of establishing mechanisms to recognise common property rights, as well as access and use rights of local people in plantation forestry license areas, as well as valuing indigenous and local people’s knowledge of forests and ecosystem management.

4. On-going global actions to establish sustainable energy futures, including rapid expansion in renewable energy options, thereby reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and the subsequent reliance on offset initiatives.

 


Sources

i Green Resources Company Report 2012
http://www.greenresources.no/Portals/0/Reports/GR_Company_Report.pdf (accessed August 12, 2014).

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s