The Australian carbon trading scheme starts from 1 July 2012. With excessive corporate compensation and carbon offset loopholes, the Australian scheme is fatally flawed. Importantly, markets are always in the process of being created, and contested. The rules for the carbon price will be constantly negotiated through the parliament and with reference to advisory committees such as the Productivity Commission and the Climate Change Authority. We can reclaim the decisions over how and when Australia will reduce emissions, and hold polluters and decisions makers in the carbon market to account. Start by learning more here.
The Clean Energy Future package will see the carbon tax transition to a carbon trading scheme. From 2015, Australian companies will be able to purchase international carbon offsets to cover 50 per cent of their required emission reductions. After being traded on international financial markets, all carbon offsets are ultimately used by polluters in countries like Australia to avoid making domestic emission reductions. This means that international offsetting is at best a zero sum game in pollution terms, while at the same time delaying the required structural transition away from fossil fuels. See our fact sheet on offset types here.
REDD is type of carbon offset. The acronym stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing countries, a scheme anticipated to come from the sale of emissions reduction ‘credits’ on the carbon market. Australia has been at the forefront of the push for market-based REDD. Evidence that this pilot is not delivering the promised social and environmental outcomes illustrates that REDD offsets are a false solution to climate change. As an set of alternatives, community-based natural resource management, recognition of land tenure, and food sovereignty are crucial to tackling the destruction of the world's forests. These approaches are fundamentally incompatible with the search for cheap offset credits in rainforest nations. Learn more about our work with communities in Indonesia facing Australian funded REDD offset projects here.
Carbon trading and offsets schemes are designed by and for large corporate polluters to enable ongoing carbon emissions and new markets for profit. In this section, we look at how multinational corporations are gaming the carbon market - lobbying for loopholes and handouts, hiking prices, and lining up offsets to continue pollution as usual.
A grassroots climate justice movement has emerged across the world. Since the early 2000s, a resilient, creative climate change movement is being built through resistance to false solutions like carbon trading. There are ample opportunities to join with people most affected by regressive climate policy, and put the issues of social justice into the debate over climate solutions. Find out more about the struggles against carbon trading here.