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A group of more than 100 environmentalists, including the Indigenous Environmental Network, signed onto a letter asking President Joe Biden’s Special Envoy John Podesta to oppose carbon markets as a climate change solution. 

The group’s major argument is that “carbon market schemes do not reduce fossil fuel extraction and combustion or deforestation,” according to the letter, dated March 20. “Rather, carbon markets and offsets allow polluting industries to increase greenhouse gas emissions, while falsely claiming they have reduced emissions, as well as embrace technologies and practices that can.”

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Earlier this year, Special Envoy John Kerry stepped down from his position representing the United States at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). John Podesta took his place in the White House as the Special Envoy. 

“Carbon markets have failed to reduce emissions for over 20 years. Moreover, they have increased conflicts that threaten the rights and sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples,” said Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, in a statement. “Article 6 of the Paris Agreement will enshrine the impacts of climate change by increasing carbon markets and offsets, which do nothing to reduce emissions at source, and cause violence to Indigenous Peoples where the offsets projects are implemented. We need strong negotiation at the UNFCCC to end Article 6 before it is too late.” 

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