04 December, 2023
Carbon credits are, essentially, pollution permits – an imaginary commodity created to benefit the wealthy, not the climate. They are a financialisaton of African nature and the climate crisis, dealing in an imaginary commodity of tonnes of carbon ‘saved’. Africa Carbon Markets Initiative claims its purpose is to create a market for a ‘high-value export commodity’. In truth, however, there are two biggest winners from carbon markets. Firstly, fossil fuel companies. The scheme allows oil and gas companies across the world to continue to burn their polluting products with impunity for profits. Secondly, financial brokers. These buy and sell the credits with huge markups. Even so, their obscene profits never trickle down to communal and even individual owners of land.