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Carbon Trading – a critical conversation on climate change, privatisation and power

This book is still likely the most comprehensive and clear-cutting analysis of carbon trading that exist. Building on a What Next-related seminar in Durban 2004, the book examines the roots and thinking behind carbon trading, the politics with US pressure that led these market solutions to become centre piece of the Kyoto protocol, the problems with off-set projects in the South, and the need to pursue other, well-proven policies and strategies that really works and that tackle the root causes of climate change.

Already within a few months after it was first published in 2006, the book had been downloaded in more than half a million copies. The book contains 350 pages but is evidently the kind or reading that draws you in, and makes you just want to continue reading and following the arguments. This is not the least due to the book's 'conversation' style – the whole book is a long conversation where the editor – Larry Lohmann from The Cornerhouse – engages in the debate, the arguments and the clarifying interchanges in an amazingly clear and challenging style. The book draws on a large number of original contributions from both participants in the Durban meeting, case studies on the ground and academic writing – all repackaged into the conversation style, but with solid references for further reading.

A must read for anyone interested in climate change!

The book can be downloaded here for free. There are also a few hard copies left of the publication – contact if you are interested.

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Editorial note Olle Nordberg, Niclas Hällström, Robert Österbergh
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Chapter 1: Introduction – A new fossil fuel crisis

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Chapter 2: 'Made in the USA' – A short history of carbon trading
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Chapter 3: Lessons unlearned – Pollution trading's failures
Property rights and privatisation
Emissions trading vs structural change
The special problems of carbon projects
Where's the enformcement?
Narrowing the discussion
Summing up – Market ideology vs. climate action

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Chapter 4: Offsets – The fossil economy's new arena of conflict
The beginnings – A story from Guatemala
From the Netherlands to the Andes – A tale from Ecuador
The story continues – Carbon forestry in Uganda
Costa Rica – 'Environmental services' pioneer
India –  A taste of the future
Sri Lanka – A 'clean energy' project that was not so clean
Thailand – Biomass in the service of the coal and gas economy
South Africa – Carbon credits from the cities
Brazil – Handouts for repression as usual
Photo essay: Plantar vs. local people – Two versions of history
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Chapter 5: Ways forward
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Appendix: The Durban declaration