Greens around the world are exhorting governments to take action on climate change. But in encouraging this action, we are also responsible for ensuring that it is both meaningful and just. The theme of climate justice is central to the 40-minute documentary The Carbon Connection (available for free viewing here).
The Carbon Connection introduces us to two communities who find themselves at either end of the global emissions trading market. Grangemouth (Scotland) is the home of a BP oil refinery; Sao Jose do Buriti (Brasil) is surrounded by thousands of hectares of eucalyptus plantations. BP purchases the carbon credits created from these plantations in Brasil to offset the emissions generated by petroleum production in Scotland.
This documentary presents the practical consequences of this scheme. The people of Sao Jose see their native woodland obliterated and their springs and creeks dried up by the thirsty eucalyptus; Grangemouth still gets polluted and its people still suffer physical and mental ill-health. On both side of the equation, ordinary people suffer.
Through the video letters they have exchanged, the people of these two communities have given their stories as gifts offered in solidarity with each other. We also can share in these powerful, funny and moving gifts through this film. I wonder if we can contribute our solidarity as well.