“The report catalogues the repeated failure of global and regional carbon trading to deliver in its own terms as expressed in the promises of its advocates. The authors decisively reject the argument that the disappointing record of attempts to construct carbon markets is due to “teething problems” or because we have not tried enough. Rather, they demonstrate that the carbon trading architecture is fundamentally unfit for purpose and cannot possibly deliver the stabilisation of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations that the scientific community is calling for in the time frame that matters.
Far from proving to be an economically efficient instrument, carbon trading and offsetting have been beset by inefficiency and, in places, corruption and are set to become the next subprime crisis.
While various voices in academia and the environmental movement have been expressing these views over the past decade, they have largely been ignored, or even actively muffled, by those who have sunk their political capital into the carbon trading architecture. Indeed, support for carbon trading seems to have become a litmus test of “climate correctness.” Against this background, publication of this report is an act of genuine courage on the part of Friends of the Earth. It is earnestly to be hoped that its voice will be heard loud and clear at Copenhagen and beyond.”