UN Talks Undermine Progress on Human Rights Comments from members of CLARA – Climate Land Ambition and Rights Alliance


197 nations gathered in Madrid have failed to maintain reference to Human Rights in a key component of the Paris Agreement – “Cooperative Approaches between Parties”, or Article 6 as it is known in UN jargon.


“The EU might be undermining the integrity of the UNFCCC Paris Agreement and other UN conventions by commodifying nature using the current ‘Article 6′ carbon trafficking scheme. This trade deal will only further lay siege to our common nature in the way that UNSG Guterres warned us at the beginning of this climate conference.  Ecosystems and the rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities should not be up for grabs for a carbon trade bet against emerging climate tipping points.  Offsetting is unacceptable in the face of the scale and pace of emission reductions required. We urge governments not to trade away our future!”

— Jannes Stoppel, Greenpeace Europe


“They can’t possibly expect an outcome on carbon markets here in Madrid, with weak safeguards and nothing in the decision that supports the protection of human rights. Never before have we seen more pressure on land and more violence against indigenous peoples. A sudden ramping up of climate related nature based projects to sell emissions reductions to achieve NDCs without safeguards sound to me like a very risky approach, in fact, even weaker than what we have now under REDD-plus.”

— Stephen Leonard, Center for International Forestry Research


“We are extremely worried on the turns the discussions on carbon markets are taking. The risk exists that from 2020 onwards, hydroelectric dams, sustainable forests projects generating carbon credits being accounted in States’ emission reductions would violate human rights. Put in other words, communities would be harmed, displaced and lose their means of life in the name of climate action, and this is not acceptable. Carbon markets can only exist with strong rights-based safeguards preventing those harms.”

— Sara Lickel, Caritas France


“Weak safeguards under Article 6 will only aggravate the difficult situation in Latin America which has many of its origins in social and environmental conflicts.”

— Angélica Beltran, Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad, Colombia


“Market mechanisms under article 6 have the potential to do great harm to biodiversity and ecosystem integrity at a time when we urgently need climate action to honour the promise of the Paris Agreement of protecting biodiversity and ensuring ecosystem integrity. Failure to do so will mean failure to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.”

— Virginia Young, Australian Rainforest Conservation Society


“New measures being forced through at the last minute represent an ‘imperialist’ model of global carbon management and control that leaves civil society and local people on the outside, looking in, with no role, or right to recourse”

— Tim Cadman, Griffith University, Australia