Rich countries are paying poor countries to fight climate change on their behalf - and one way they are doing it is through carbon sinks. These are reservoirs of organic carbon tied up in plants and in the earth, rather than being in the atmosphere as greenhouse gases. This book looks critically at this mode of climate change mitigation. Can it work? Is it just? Will poorer countries benefit? The book considers the scientific, ecomic and ethical basis for this type of mitigation. Previous attention has been focused mainly on reducing emissions from deforestation and land degradation (REDD), but this book is one of the first attempts to examine the potential for carbon sinks in agriculture in crop plants and the soil. In assessing this, the author examines exactly how rth-south climate mitigation trading works, or does t, and what the pitfalls are. It highlights the complex relationship between agriculture, particularly different forms of farming systems, and the mitigation of climate change. The arguments are backed up by original research with farmers in Brazil to demonstrate the challenges and prospects which these proposals offer in terms of payments for environmental services from agriculture through carbon trading.
Mike Robbins has worked for the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Syria, for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome and with the European Commission in Brussels. He has a PhD from the University of East Anglia, UK, for studies on the relationship between climate change and agriculture. He currently works in New York.