As the UN’s ongoing REDD+ pilot programs report some data back to us about their findings, one thing has stood out to me regarding the viability of programs: carbon buyback is voluntary. So here are a few regulatory suggestions to increase the market value of carbon credits.
- Install a worldwide carbon tax. If you buy a carbon burning energy product, you should pay a carbon tax built directly into the product. The money goes into a fund to buy carbon credits. Carbon credits are bought at a daily rate until the fund is empty. Market demand solved.
- Hurry up with the science. Its simple math. Tree species grow. They breath in carbon dioxide. Exhale oxygen. Their mass is 50% or more carbon. Make an index. Simplify this thing.
- Cut the corruption. Installing more agriculture isn’t necessarily the solution. Wikipedia reports that one Amazon tribe sold their carbon credits, but the developer wrote himself a lifelong lease to produce palm oil. Carbon credits for forestry and indigenous trees should be sold first. Leave the agricultural corruption in the dust. Governments get nothing: They prefer cutting trees over saving them.
- Regulate the income distribution in carbon schemes. Give Indigenous peoples 45% directly in education, infrastructure, and benefits. Give no more than 21% income to land owners not occupying the land. Limit developer’s fees to 3%. More simple math. Make sure the economically disadvantaged people who are directly effected by the forest industry’s activities are given compensation to protect the trees.
- Mandate 20% goes to clean energy infrastructure investment. We really don’t want to keep burning carbon, so let’s invest in clean energy. Make the Indigenous people and the landowner’s the owners of the shares. As protectors of the trees, rural people deserve the benefits of the world economy. Give it to them. Make our forests our pride more than our castles and skyscrapers.
If we are going to be serious about solving climate change and taking responsibility for our energy use and greenhouse gas production, we will need to build the solution directly into our economy.