Carbon markets could strengthen or screw over global action on climate change

‘Fridays For Future’ Protest In Rome

Photo by Andrea Ronchini/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Leaders from 197 countries are hammering out the details of one of the most contested strategies for tackling climate change: international carbon markets, which allow countries to offset their planet-heating emissions by funding green projects elsewhere. As delegates negotiated at the annual United Nations climate conference in Madrid this week, protests unfolded over the carbon-cutting scheme, which some environmental activists called “a false solution.”

Existing carbon markets have a checkered past, and unless tighter rules are put in place moving forward, new carbon markets could actually make the climate crisis worse. That’s because, with a poorly designed system, there’s the risk that carbon credits could offer polluters an…

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