Friday, March 21, 2008

California EJ Movement Wrong To Oppose Cap-and-Trade

Several California environmental justice groups have issed a 'Declaration Against Use of Carbon Trading Schemes to Address Climate Change.' The groups oppose Cap-and-Trade programs to reduce global warming. They believe that such systems are inadequate to confront the climate crisis; marginalize front-line communities fighting environmental justice battles; and are designed to benefit corporate interests - not communities or the climate. Endorsing organizations include California Communities Against Toxics, California Environmental Rights Alliance, Carbon Trade Watch, Communities for a Better Environment, GreenAction, Rainforest Action Network, West County Toxics Coalition and many more.

The African American Environmentalist Association (AAEA) disagrees with the decision of the California Environmental Justice Movement (CEJM) to oppose Cap-and-Trade as a tool to fight global warming. AAEA submits that Cap-and-Trade can be an effective tool for fighting climate change if properly implemented. The Clean Air Act authorized Acid Rain Program is a perfect example of a Cap-and-Trade program that everybody agrees worked. AAEA is registered in the EPA Acid Rain Program. We agree with the CEJM that the Kyoto Protocol is a poor model for achieving global warming mitigation. That is why the protocol is failing to achieve its objectives. Yet the CEJM provides no reasonable alternatives for reducing greenhouse gases.

AAEA promotes effective alternatives to the Kyoto Protocol's arbitrary reduction targets and we also believe that Cap-and-Trade mechanisms can be leveraged to benefit people of color communities by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, provide economic incentives for such improvements and provide business opportunities for minority entrepreneurs. AAEA has also developed programs and mechanisms to provide minority communties with the tools to help make Cap-and-Trade programs effective globally and locally. The AAEA Environmental Justice Allowance Reserve (EJAR) provides oversight and protection mechanisms in a Cap-and-Trade program. We have also developed a Carbon Mercantile Exchange (CMX) and Green Carbon Bank (GCB) to directly participate in the management of carbon dioxide offsets.

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