in Norway, Sweden, Uganda

Stop Carbon Colonialism! Oakland Institute demands Swedish Energy Agency cancel carbon credit deal with Green Resources

“The operations of Green Resources — a Norwegian industrial forestry plantation and a carbon offsets company — have resulted in loss of lands, livelihoods and increased hunger for the local communities at Kachung and Bukaleba — its two sites in Uganda.”

The quotation is from the Oakland Institute’s website.

Green Resources is a Norwegian company that generates carbon credits from its industrial tree plantations in Uganda. The Swedish Energy Agency is the only buyer.

The Oakland Insitute is demanding that the Swedish Energy Agency cancels its carbon credit deal with Green Resources, because of the impacts Green Resources’s monocultures in Uganda are having on local communities.

Carbon violence

In 2014, the Oakland Institute put out a report about the impact of Green Resources’ plantations. The report revealed that communities were evicted to make way for the company’s plantations, and thousands of people “face profound disruptions to their livelihoods, including many experiencing forced evictions.”

The Oakland Institute described the impacts of Green Resources’ operations as “carbon violence”.

In 2015, journalists from Sweden’s TV4 Kalla Fakta visited Green Resources’ plantations in Uganda. After the documentary was broadcast, the Swedish Energy Agency froze the remaining payments of its US$4 million carbon credit deal with Green Resources.

Carbon colonialism

The Swedish Energy Agency will decide whether to resume payments to Green Resources later this year. At the end of last year, the Oakland Institute carried out further research into the situation for communities in Kachung. The report, “Carbon Colonialism: Failure of Green Resources’ carbon offset project in Uganda”, exposes how an audit carried out for the Swedish Energy Agency is heavily biased in favour of Green Resources.

The Oakland Institute is now demanding that the Swedish Energy Agency stops all future payments, and cancels its deal to buy carbon credits from Green Resources.

Via its website, the Oakland Institute is asking people to send the following letter to Zofia Lublin, Acting Director General of the Swedish Energy Agency:

Subject: Suspend Future Payments to Green Resources & Cancel the Deal for Purchase of Carbon Credits

Dear Ms Lubin,

I write to you to express my outrage at the activities of Green Resources – from whom you purchase carbon credits in Uganda. I am appalled by their operations in Kachung and Bukaleba, which show a callous disregard for the food security and land rights of the local communities, as well as little respect for cultural customs and the ecological fragility and biodiversity of the region.

I am aware that this is not new information for you, as you earlier suspended your dealings with Green Resources until they demonstrated compliance with your list of ten demands to rectify their wrongdoing.

However, I am concerned by the biased conclusion of the audit commissioned by the SEA. What is particularly disturbing is how the company is deemed ‘compliant’ despite multiple counts of wrongdoing or lack of action. The audit does nevertheless highlight how Green Resources’ presence undermines food security and renders an already impoverished community even more precarious.

This alone should make you suspend and cancel all existing and future dealings with Green Resources. We urge you to hold yourself to a higher standard of corporate vigilance.

A fair reckoning with the findings of an unbiased third party audit would make you recognize the structurally unjust and unsustainable nature of carbon trading that forces local people to carry the social, environmental, and other costs of this project, fuelling an insidious form of carbon colonialism.

Ahead of your decision regarding your relationship with Green Resources, I ask that you suspend all future payments to Green Resources and cancel the deal for purchase of carbon credits. This is the only viable response going forward in the face of the worsening impact of Green Resources on the local villagers in Uganda!

Sincerely,
 

 

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