La Via Campesina opposes the inclusion of agriculture in carbon markets


JAKARTA, 11 APRIL 2011 As the first session of climate negotiations for the year come to a close in Bangkok, Thailand, it is clear that the urgency of avoiding a climate disaster  and delivering climate justice remain unaddressed.

La Via Campesina, the global movement of small-scale and family farmers, is severely dismayed at the attempts of the developed countries to further escape their historic responsibility to make real emission cuts and push for more false and market based solutions to the climate crisis.

As the planet undergoes even more climate change induced extreme weather changes that have impacted on small scale farmers in different parts of the world including unpredicted rains that have resulted in harvest failure in the Southeast Asian region, the urgency increases for real solutions and for real and deep emission cuts.  

Developed countries however are pushing for the voluntary pledge mechanism listed in the controversial Cancun Agreements in order to move away from the mandated program of working towards legally binding commitments to cut emissions. A United Nations Environment Programme study itself has stated that with the current pledges under the voluntary pledge system, the world will move towards a global warming of 2.5 to 5 degrees Celsius before the end of the century. A warming that will clearly destabilize the planet and imperil hundreds of millions of people as science have shown that the safe limit is below 1 or 1.5 degrees Celsius.

It is even more disturbing that in the debate on the agenda, some developed countries have begun to push for the inclusion of agriculture in the carbon offsetting mechanisms. Transnational corporations and advocates of biochar and GM crops are pushing for the inclusion of agriculture in the carbon markets with plans to convert half a billion hectares of land in Africa to biochar feedstock plantations. Although still in a nascent state, La Via Campesina is raising the alarm bells on this as early as now and denouncing this as a false solution that will further imperil small-scale and family farmers around the world, promote land grabbing and increase widespread hunger in the world.

With just a few more months till the UNFCCC COP 17 in Durban, La Via Campesina is calling for a rejection of the Cancun Agreements and the push of transnational corporations and developed countries to escape their historic responsibility and their push for more false solutions. We laud the efforts of countries like Bolivia who have bravely stood their ground, rejecting the Cancun Agreements and continue to call for climate justice. We call for all governments to stand for climate justice and uphold the people’s solutions and demands listed in the Cochabamba People’s Agreement which upholds the rights of the people and of Mother Earth and is a concrete solution to the climate crisis.

La Via Campesina reiterates its call that a concrete and genuine solution to climate change is sustainable small-scale and family farmer agriculture. Many studies have shown that agro-ecology will not only feed the world but it will also cool the planet.