Title: Beyond CO2lonialism: the potential for fair trade certification to embrace voluntary carbon offsets

Authors: Galen Michael Ciscell

Addresses: Department of Sociology, Colorado State University, B258 Clark Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1784, USA

Abstract: Carbon offset projects are a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Some offset projects cause immediate harm to the people and environment of developing countries while others provide questionable returns in terms of actual carbon capture and storage. Finally, carbon offset projects create barriers to industrialisation for developing countries. All of these challenges must be addressed if carbon offsets are to meet the promise of serving as both an effective solution to climate change and a development mechanism for countries in the global South. This paper examines the potential for fair trade to embrace and certify voluntary carbon offsets, thereby ensuring ethical, socially responsible offsets.

Keywords: carbon colonialism; carbon offsets; climate change; convention theory; fair trade; sustainability; carbon storage; carbon capture; developing countries; ethics; social responsibility; greenhouse gases; GHG emissions; carbon emissions; CO2 emissions; carbon dioxide; certification; sustainable development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSOC.2010.033625

International Journal of Sustainable Society, 2010 Vol.2 No.2, pp.121 - 132

Published online: 08 Jun 2010 *

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