The Other Side of Carbon Trading

Fortune ran this piece of mine on carbon trading in Uganda.

You can find it here as well as archived below:

August 30, 2007
The Other Side of Carbon Trading
Planting trees in Uganda to offset greenhouse-gas emissions in Europe seemed like a good idea – until farmers were evicted from their land to make room for a forest.

By Stephan Faris

Planting trees in Mount Elgon National Park in eastern Uganda seemed like a project that would benefit everyone. The Face Foundation, a nonprofit group established by Dutch power companies, would receive carbon credits for reforesting the park’s perimeter. It would then sell the credits to airline passengers wanting to offset their emissions, reinvesting the revenues in further tree planting. The air would be cleaner, travelers would feel less guilty and Ugandans would get a larger park.

But to the farmers who once lived just inside the park, the project has been anything but a boon. They have been fighting to get their land back since being evicted in the early 1990s and have pressed their case with lawsuits.

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