Climate camp targets carbon trading

This year’s Camp for Climate Action pitched up their tents on Blackheath in London yesterday. There are around 1,000 people there already, with more expected as the weekend gets closer. Along with the workshops and demonstrations of sustainable living, there will also be non-violent direct action during the week, and some climate campers have kicked this off already with an action-cum-street theatre outside the Climate Exchange on Bishopsgate.

Climate campers outside the Climate Exchange on Bishopsgate. Credit: Amy Scaife

One of the key reasons for bringing the Climate Camp to London this year is to challenge the role of the City in creating the climate crisis. The fact that our society is geared towards endless economic growth has resulted in a headlong rush towards global warming. WDM has long argued that redistribution to tackle inequality is the key to ending poverty, rather than unsustainable growth which threatens the planet and fails to ‘lift up the poor’.

Moreover, the obsession with the free market, which has dominated official global politics for the last 30 years, means that politicians are looking to a ‘market mechanism’, carbon trading, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This is what today’s Climate Camp action was about. Carbon trading is being used as a get-out clause for rich countries, whereby they can meet their emissions reduction targets by buying credits from other countries, usually in the global south. This is how the UK government justifies building a third runway at Heathrow, for instance, or building new coal fired power stations.

Carbon trading is not only a dangerous diversion, its also now a multi-billion pound industry in its own right. So its very welcome that Climate Camp have chosen to highlight it in their first action.

WDM at Climate Camp

Like in previous years, WDM is involved in running several workshops at climate camp:

Friday 28 August 16:30
Carbon trading, Heathrow and Kingsnorth: An introduction
World Development Movement and Carbon Trade Watch.
Everything you wanted to know about carbon trading (but were afraid to ask). If you don't yet know your cap-and-trade from your offsets, come along and find out the basics about carbon markets and why they fail. The workshop will also look at how carbon trading relates to key climate change struggles in the UK, discussing whether carbon trading makes it more likely that a new coal power station at Kingsnorth, and third runway at Heathrow, will be built.

Saturday 29 August 16:30
Climate Justice: Views from the global South
World Development Movement and Jubilee Debt Campaign
The workshop will look at proposals being put forward by southern campaigners for tackling climate change, particularly around the concept of climate debt.

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