[p2p-research] P2P Carbon trading - stage one

Robin robokow at gmail.com
Thu Nov 19 16:48:09 CET 2009

On Wednesday 18 November 2009 15:30:59 Michel Bauwens wrote:
> Hi robin,
> if you have time, I would appreciate an overview for our blog, 'what to
> think of carbon trading',

I would love to, but it isn't easy generally to write "what to think of carbon 
trading". There are many angles to it, and it really depends on the values and 
priorities someone adheres to. Do you want to think within or outside the 
system? Do you want to think of a way out of the system (transition) or a way 
that neglects the current system completely ;)

First there is the already put in place de facto privatisation of the right to 
pollute that already occured with the Kyoto Protocol, and the way the EU for 
example implemented this. This de facto privatisation could, arguably, be 
perceived as a legally approved new implementation of colonialism (but this 
would also depend on further outcomes of the Climate Protocol processes and 
how individual states would continue to implement carbon trading)

Then there is another angle to it. This is related to the way markets and 
money currently function. I can imagine there would be other ways of dealing 
with carbon trading on a P2P level, if the rules of the games would be set up 
differently in relation to how it is delt with currently. 

To that end, I think it would be useful for James Burke to reflect a bit more 
about the poster he uploaded here:

He makes a distinction between "cap and trade" for "private sector" and 
"carbon taxes" for "Public sector", which frankly follows the green/social 
democratic neoliberal agenda. I would love to see an elaboration of that.

I might have time to write something in December. At the moment I am busy 
organising a nomad conference first in Berlin and then New York that starts 
tomorrow. I have a piece of writing for that, which I was hoping to send later 



> Michel
> On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 8:49 PM, Robin <robokow at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Interesting spam here. I think you can expect more like this.
> >
> > I have done extensive research on carbon trading when it was just
> > starting, early 2000s and published a bunch of articles in Dutch
> > press, including the main business newspaper.
> >
> > For anyone interested in this sort of material, find some critical
> > info here: http://www.carbontradewatch.org/
> >
> > Personally I think that if you want to commodify the air/ or the
> > 'right to pollute', it would only make sense if each person in the
> > world would get an equal right to Co2 emission, based on what is
> > sustainable (around 90% less than what we pollute now). Fair
> > distribution you might call it. Then, let the trading begin (and the
> > money flows North to South).
> >
> > But unfortunately the allocation per state has (already!) been done
> > with the trade-agreement Kyoto Protocol, on basis of how much each
> > (Northern) state was polluting already.
> >
> > On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 5:24 AM, J. Andrew Rogers
> >
> > <reality.miner at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > One thing that makes me highly skeptical of most carbon offset sites is
> >
> > that
> >
> > > there never seems to be a way for normal individuals that have
> >
> > substantial
> >
> > > carbon sequestration capacity to sell offsets.  At the end of the day,
> > > it always seems to be about funneling money to anointed parties rather
> > > than creating a genuine market for carbon sequestration.
> >
> > Carbon offset projects can also damage communities. There are many
> > examples of this:
> >
> > http://www.carbontradewatch.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id
> >=319&Itemid=36
> >
> > >From the conclusion of the article linked above:
> >
> > "The emerging global carbon offset market has created a lucrative new
> > commodity while essentially distracting from the real and difficult
> > steps needed to avert the climate crisis. In hundreds of locations
> > around the world, polluting private companies are building up new
> > profit centres to capture green finance. These carbon projects are
> > subsidizing some of the most polluting companies in the world.
> >
> > The reality of these projects is startling. Even renewable projects
> > that look the best at the outset are rife with conflicts. A brief look
> > at market fundamentals suggests why such conflicts are almost
> > inevitable. The most reliable providers of offset credits will
> > inevitably be big, highly-capitalized firms or agencies in a position
> > to hire carbon consultants and accountants, liaise with officials, or
> > pay the fees needed for UN registration.
> >
> > These projects are not set up to deal with the real complexities and
> > intricacies of communities and livelihoods. They require enormous
> > quantities of resources in terms of land, water, and machinery and do
> > not benefit the local communities or ecology. They generally take
> > place in regions where people have little political power, engendering
> > a deeper North–South divide."
> >
> > Robin
> >
> > ---
> > Life happens at the level of events, not of words
> >
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