The price of carbon on global markets has crashed to hitherto unsurpassed lows in recent weeks. There were many problems inherent in carbon markets from the outset, but these problems have become glaringly obvious as time goes on. It’s long past time to scrap this approach to dealing with climate change.
An excellent account of the crisis of the most advanced attempt to commodify emissions – the European Emissions Trading System – can be found here.
In general, we need a new approach to dealing with the major environmental crises of our times. Green capitalism is failing us on a number of different fronts. Organizations such as Via Campesina have long been arguing for local, decentralized systems of power generation and agriculture as alternatives to the feckless, destructive energy regime under which we now live. These alternatives are even more important to foreground now, before major polluting nations such as the US sign on to their versions of emissions trading.