Cap and trade won’t cut it | Pt. 2

The Waxman-Markey bill, the Democratic Party’s first attempt at comprehensive climate change legislation since the election of Barack Obama as president, promises to reduce US emissions by 17% by 2020, and 83% by 2050. These numbers however, do not account for a practice known as carbon offsetting. Payal Parekh from International Rivers believes that the practice is counterproductive at best, serving to delay necessary energy generation changes, or dangerous at worst, putting communities worldwide at risk from megaprojects that they aren’t consulted about. Furthermore, offsets are unknown as a financial entity, and have already shown themselves in Europe to be candidates for financial speculation.

Payal Parekh serves as a climate campaigner for International Rivers, where she works to raise awareness that dams are emitters of the powerful greenhouse gas, methane; to stop international carbon offsetting schemes; and to promote climate adaptation strategies that protect rivers and the communities dependent on them. Previously, she worked alongside the Narmada Bachao Andolan, a social movement in India fighting the damming of the Narmada River, investigating the Indian government’s plans to interlink rivers, and providing technical environmental assistance to Indian NGOs and social movements. Originally from Mumbai, India, Parekh was a Marie Curie research fellow at the University of Bern in Switzerland conducting scientific research on carbon cycle – climate interactions. She holds a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

She has been commenting on environmental legislation developments on her blog at:


~ by Cory Morningstar on May 27, 2009.

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