Increasingly, Indigenous territories are being targeted for carbon offset schemes. Protected Areas – which usually lead to evictions and violence against local people - are now being justified by claims about their potential to ‘store’ carbon. The resulting carbon ‘credits’ can then be sold to polluters, like oil companies, so that they can claim to be ‘carbon neutral’.
These schemes are a scam and are dangerous for people and the climate. It’s blood carbon.
Tens of thousands of pastoralist Indigenous Samburu, Borana and Rendille people have long grazed and depended on the nearly 5 million acres now covered by Northern Rangeland Trust's (NRT) carbon offset project in Northern Kenya. Their ancestral lands, their ways of life and their ability to feed their families are threatened by NRT’s project, which claims to increase the amount of carbon stored in the soil by changing pastoralist grazing patterns and the sustainable way they use their land. The Indigenous communities were not properly consulted about the project.
The least responsible for climate change are paying the price for a destruction they didn’t cause.
NRT has already made millions from this scheme by selling carbon credits, and is set to earn many millions more. NRT’s armed wildlife rangers have been implicated in serious human rights abuses against local Indigenous people and carbon credit sales could fund such abuses. There is also strong evidence that the project fails to do what it promises; store more carbon. By enabling companies to greenwash their emissions, the scheme could accelerate climate change rather than prevent it.
Despite the abuses and doubts, Verra, an organization which oversees the certification of projects and the sale of carbon credits, has certified NRT’s scheme.
With your support, we have already pushed Verra to suspend the project and to conduct a review. Now we need to keep up the pressure!
Please act now by writing to Verra and NRT’s backers, asking that they scrap this project altogether.
Your email will be sent to:
Verra (who oversee the certification of carbon credits);
NRT's funders and backers: French development bank AFD; USAID Kenya; the European Commission; the Danish Embassy in Kenya, the Nature Conservancy;
Carbon credit project verrifying company Ruby Canyon