By Arthur Neslen
The reported killing of 23 Honduran farmers in a dispute with the owners of UN-accredited palm oil plantations has called into question the integrity of the EU’s emission trading scheme (ETS), as carbon credits from the plantations remain on sale.In Brussels, Green MEP Bas Eickhout called the alleged human rights abuses “a disgrace”, and told EurActiv he would be pushing the European Commission to bar carbon credits from the plantations from being traded under the ETS. Several members of the CDM board have been “personally distressed” by the events in Bajo Agu’¡n, northern Honduras, according to the board’s chairman, Martin Hession, and have placed under review the CDM’s stakeholder consultation process.
“Plainly, the events that have been described are deplorable,” said Hession. “There is no excuse for them.” But because they took place after the CDM’s stakeholder consultations had been held, and fell outside the board’s primary remit to investigate emissions reductions and environmental impacts, it had been powerless to block project registrations.
At the heart of the issue are the reported murders of 23 local farmers who tried to recover land that they say was illegally sold to big palm oil plantations, such as Grupo Dinant, in a country scarred by widespread human rights abuses.