Activists Protest Carbon Trading Summit

Activists interrupted the 2nd Annual iGlobalForum Carbon Trading Summit in New York City to make their voices heard.© Act for Climate Justice

The 2nd Annual iGlobalForum Carbon Trading Summit took place last Wednesday, January 13th, sparking a large crowd of protestors and activists unhappy with the conclusion of the Copenhagen climate talks. Inside the Embassy Suites Hotel in New York City, market experts, lead executives, government officials, investment bankers, environmental specialists and policymakers met to discuss the future of the carbon market, while frustrated environmental activists rallied outside. No longer willing to leave important environmental issues in the hands of investment bankers and corporate executives, activists tore down the atrium curtain and interrupted the summit luncheon to make their voices heard. Their objective? To express their opposition to carbon trading.

Carbon trading is a result of the cap-and-trade approach, which provides companies with incentives for reducing carbon emissions. Under such a system, companies that need to increase their emissions allowance can buy more credits from companies that have credits to spare. The idea is that those who emit less will be financially rewarded, while those who pollute more must pay the price—literally. Protestors claim, however, that carbon trading is not a real solution, and will instead lead to a perpetuation of pollution, allowing for a further destabilization of the environment. Carbon trading, they argued, simply allows polluters to pay other companies to reduce emissions, without making any attempt to lessen their own.

SOURCES: Act for Climate Justice; iGlobalForum.