April 11, 2023

On Carbon Credit Systems Plan in the Philippines

Carbon credits are tradable permits representing the right to emit one metric ton of carbon dioxide or its equivalent greenhouse gasses, used to incentivize and finance emission reduction projects.

Indeed, carbon credit systems could have the potential to play a role in reducing emissions, however, they are not without their flaws and limitations — as they only address carbon emissions and do not take into account socio-environmental impacts of business operations. Carbon credits emphasize mitigation without a regard for the potential detrimental effects to the society and environment. This means that companies may prioritize reducing carbon emissions over other important environmental or social considerations.¬†

It is also important to note that emissions from countries in the global south, such as the Philippines were least responsible for climate change but are often coerced to face impacts of continuous warming of our planet. Thus it is only equitable to put efforts on more climate adaptation measures

We believe that it is crucial to take bold action to address the climate crisis, and carbon credits should be just one part of a broader strategy. It is important to consider more climate adaptation measures that will help to build resilience in communities that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Likewise, these systems disproportionately benefit large corporations and wealthy countries, while leaving smaller companies and poorer countries at a disadvantage and can reinforce existing power imbalances and contribute to environmental injustice. 

Because it is a system that is very vulnerable to fraud and manipulation, with some companies creating false or exaggerated claims about their carbon reduction efforts to earn more credits than they deserve.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for addressing climate change. To effectively tackle the complex and multifaceted challenges of the climate crisis, a mix of different approaches is necessary. These are achievable through supporting  renewable energy and energy efficiency, promoting sustainable land use practices, and encouraging behavior change through education and awareness-raising campaigns tailored to local contexts.