For Immediate Release:
Dec. 3rd, 2011
John E. Peck, Family Farm Defenders #608-260-0900 or #608-345-3918
Selene Gonzales, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization #773-762-6991
Raquel Nunez, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization #773-341-6459
Family Farmers, Urban Gardeners, and Their Allies Expose the Corporate Profiteers Behind False Solutions to the Climate Crisis at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange
Mon. Dec. 5th 12:00 Noon – 2:00 pm
Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), 141 W. Jackson Blvd, Chicago
As part of the 1000 Durbans for Climate Justice Days of Action around the globe called by La Via Campesina and the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, family farmers, urban gardeners and other allies will be converging on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange from 12:00 Noon to 2:00 pm on Mon. Dec. 5th to speak out against carbon trading.
This false solution to the climate crisis only serves to benefit corporate speculators while marginalizing and exploiting the real hope for cooling the planet – namely small-scale sustainable agriculture.
Since 2003, the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) served as North America’s largest carbon offset trading venue, until it went belly up last year. At its height, the CCX had over 450 traders including the likes of the Farm Bureau and Amtrak to Dupont, Ford, and even the Univ. of California. But the market eventually succumbed to an over supply of “hot air” credits that drove down the price of carbon from a high of $7.50 per metric ton to less than 5 cents at its demise.
With the collapse of the CCX, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has now given the “greenlight” to GreenX as a new designated contract market for carbon trading. Besides the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), principal GreenX traders include: Constellation NewEnergy, Credit Suisse Energy, Evolution Markets, Goldman Sachs, ICAP Energy, J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy, Morgan Stanley Capital Group, RNK Capital, Spectron Energy, TFS Energy, Tudor Investment, Vitol, Citigroup, Mizuho Securities USA and Prudential Bache, among others.
Once touted as among the fastest-growing specialties in financial services, the future of carbon trading remains bleak as U.N. climate change negotiations have largely stalled since Copenhagen with no prospect that the Kyoto Protocol will be extended in Durban. According to the London Telegraph (12/4/11) global carbon trading has also fallen prey to criminal racketeering. Over 100 people have now been arrested in Europe for various schemes bilking investors and taxpayers, involving the “recycling” of already claimed carbon credits and outright theft of others.
“Such flagrant corruption is all the more reason to put an end to carbon trading,” noted John E. Peck, executive director of Family Farm Defenders. “Such commodification of pollution has been a false solution to climate change since the beginning, It just allows those responsible for greenhouse gas emissions to evade responsibility and shift their burden onto current taxpayers and future generations. Worse yet, carbon trading does not require any actual emission reduction – instead, it just creates another fictitious shell game commodity market ripe for corporate speculation.”
Rising Tide North America, founded over a decade ago, noted in its 2011 International Political Statement that “corporate-friendly and state-sponsored ‘solutions’ to climate change are utterly failing to solve the climate crisis. The current international climate negotiations are flawed and unjust because they are based on the interests of a neo-liberal capitalist globalization that seeks to benefit richer countries and corporations.” Rising Tide North American shares the assessment of many other climate justice advocates across the globe that carbon trading is just a form of modern-day colonialism.
Joined by supporters of Occupy Chicago, climate justice advocates also plan to invoke the spirit of Charles Dickens by presenting lumps of coal to the worst 1% of corporate scrooges who now profit off the carbon trading conducted within the bowels of the CME.
It is time to say no to a corrupt system that rewards the biggest polluters with a mafia style protection racket that forces victims to pay off the perpetrators of climate injustice.
Pollution is a gross violation of human rights, not just another commodity to be privately traded. No more green capitalism! Our carbon is not for sale!