Our Land, Our Struggle

Our Land, Our Struggle

Quilombola Action

Quilombola Action

Gender and Environment

Gender and Environment

Where the Trees are a Desert - 2003

online photo-essay exploring the impacts of monoculture eucalyptus plantations on local people and the environment in Brazil.

Filling a critical vacuum

indymedia.jpgBy centring its work on bottom-up community-led projects and campaigns, Carbon Trade Watch aims to provide a durable body of research which ensures that a holistic and justice-based analysis of climate change and environmental policies is not forgotten or compromised. As part of our solidarity work, CTW aims to accompany and support movements and communities in their local initiatives and struggles for environmental and social justice. Importantly, the collective gathers and translates work with others in this field to help facilitate broader co-operation and understanding.



The Carbon Trade Watch group is organised non-hierarchically and is committed to challenging prejudice in all its forms. This is actively pursued in perspectives explored in the work, as well as being a constant part of the internal organisation of the collective structure. The group believes that challenging domination is a vital part of the process of achieving a diverse spectrum of just and sustainable societies.

Carbon Trade Watch comprises three core researcher-activists: Joanna Cabello, Tamra Gilbertson and Ricardo Santos.

To contact team members email simply put the first name and then
CTW Guest Researchers 2012
Beatriz Martínez is a professional translator, editor and researcher. She has worked with the Transnational Institute since 2004. Her areas of interests include the role of the Spanish State in the EU-ETS. bea [at]

Joseph Zacune is a freelance researcher and Co-Director of Critical Information Collective (CIC). He was Friends of the Earth’s (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) trade campaigner and subsequently worked as the Program Coordinator for FoE International’s Climate Justice and Energy Program from 2006 to 2010. He studied Economic History and Political Science at Lund University, Sweden. zacune [at]

Ricardo Coelho is a research assistant and PhD candidate at the Center for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal. His research interests include carbon trading and other market-based environmental policies, incommensurability and value conflict and climate justice. Contact: ricardocoelho [at]

Lazar Konforti studied international development at both graduate and undergraduate levels, focusing on rural development and globalization. His interests include land struggles, agricultural value chains, agroecology, and the peasant movements that organise around these issues. Lazar worked as a researcher for Canadian NGO Équiterre on local food policy and also worked on development projects in Mali and Nicaragua with different Canadian organisations. Contact:  lazar.konforti [at] Phone: (+1) 514.449.5510
Keith Brower Brown is an independent researcher and energy consultant based in San Francisco. After studying  geography and energy economics at UC Berkeley, he conducted field research on the wind industry in northeastern Brazil. His research interests include renewable energy development in the global South, the social consequences of international climate mitigation efforts, and energy storage for renewable energy grid integration. Contact: browerbrown [at]




A fundamental aspect of Carbon Trade Watch is to produce in-depth, accessible and concrete research on environmental and climate change from a justice-based perspective with a special focus on issues of carbon trading, forest issues, land rights and plantations.

The project takes a two-fold approach to producing research:
Through aiming to provide vital support to under-resourced groups such as Indigenous Peoples Groups, small southern NGOs and activists speaking out against market-based mechanisms. Carbon Trade Watch collaborates with grassroots groups to create a series of popular materials including fact sheets and short pamphlets. Field research is considered crucial for understanding and supporting local initiatives and struggles.
Through collaborating with academics, journalists, networks and NGOs the collective produces cutting-edge and critical research on environmental and climate justice including articles, briefings and papers. In addition the project feeds into already on-going research by playing an advisory role for these actors.

community support
We believe that there is an absence of voices within mainstream decision-making structures from those directly affected by environmental degradation, polluting industries and climate change. We seek to address these power imbalances by helping to create more space for those voices to be heard through direct actions, campaigns, information sharing, creating easily-accessible materials, workshops and field research.

Carbon Trade Watch uses many different mediums to explore the issues around environmental and climate justice. We use a range of tools such as film, photography, audio, web and easy to access publications. The use of multimedia allows -through methods such as participatory video and interactive media projects, the empowerment of people. It also opens the space for learning to be explored in a way that demystifies complex issues and puts the power of critical knowledge and reflection into the hands of many. 


working and network partners

Accion Ecologica, Ecuador
AEPS, Thailand
ASEED, The Netherlands
Centre for Civil Society, South Africa
Climate & Development Initiatives, Uganda
Coeco Ceiba (Amigos de la Tierra) FoE, Costa Rica
Community Training and Development Unit, Scotland
Concrete-Dok, The Netherlands
CORE – Manipur, India
Corporate Europe Observatory, The Netherlands
Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, Sweden
Dept. of Environmental Studies, Dartmouth College, USA
Durban Group for Climate Justice
Ekologistak Martxan, Pais Vasco
Environmental Rights Action, Nigeria
FASE-ES, Brasil
Focus on the Global South, Thailand
Global Justice Ecology Project, USA
groundWork, South Africa
Indigenous Environment Network, USA
Institute for Security Studies, South Africa
JATAM, Indonesia
Magic Lantern Foundation, India
National Forum for Forest Peoples and Forest Workers, India
Oilwatch International
Risingtide, UK
Risingtide, North America
SawitWatch, Indonesia
Sinkswatch, UK
South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, South Africa
Sustainable Environment and Economy Network, USA
The Corner House, UK
Timberwatch, South Africa
Trapease, UK
WAHLI, FoE Indonesia
WISE, The Netherlands
World Rainforest Movement, Uruguay


Our current funders are;

Network for Social Change



Artists Project Earth

RDMA-APEalbumcover.gifWe have received a grant from Artists Project Earth (APE) which has enabled us to continue our important work. APE is entirely funded by the sale of its albums. If you value our work addressing climate change and environmental justice and want to see organisations like ours flourish, then please do make a donation to this good cause by pledging for a copy of APE’s new album, Rhythms Del Mundo: Africa. Unlike most charitable donations, you get something tangible and enjoyable in return - as well as the knowledge that you are actively supporting some really well-respected organisations and projects. APE are known as the "Fairy God-Funders" of the climate change movement - please help them to continue spreading their magic! Thank You.  

Carbon Trade Watch is run on a small budget and we make every provision to ensure that each donation is used to its full potential. Therefore even the smallest contribution is of great value to our on-going work.
If you would like to donate to the project please send a bank transfer to:

Associacion Environmental Justice Research Collective

Bank: Caixa d'Enginyers
Bank Address: 0001, Via Layetana, 39, 08003, Barcelona
Account Number: 3025-0001-11-1433432742 
IBAN: ES62 3025 0001 1114 3343 2742

We are currently searching for new funding opportunities. If you are interested in supporting any aspect of the project please contact carbontradewatch[at]


milan1.jpgThe adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 laid the foundations for a new unprecedented global marketplace in greenhouse gases. Overnight a new commodity was created literally out of “air” spawning a whole industry dedicated to maximising profits from the climate crisis. It soon became apparent that many carbon credit projects were highly dubious and locally unjust: supporting unsafe waste dumps, unsustainable eucalyptus plantations and green-washing dirty industrial practices.
Carbon Trade Watch was conceived at the end of 2001 and born in 2002 as the Environmental Justice project of the Transnational Institute, with the aim of exposing key flaws in the pollution trading model. This formed the cornerstones of two reports in 2003: The Sky is Not the Limit and Where the Trees are a Desert. The latter also took the form of a photo exhibition that was widely displayed. 

durban1.jpg Since then, Carbon Trade Watch has expanded its critique of carbon trading. In 2005, Hoodwinked in the Hothouse highlighted the role played by the G8 in promoting free-market environmentalism. The Carbon Neutral Myth, published in 2007, showed how “voluntary offsets” represent modern day indulgences, sold to an increasingly carbon conscious public, are used to absolve climate “sins”. The same year saw the publication of Paving the way for Agrofuels, which highlighted the devastating potential of EU agrofuel targets.

A number of short films have been produced to highlight the damaging impact of carbon trading on local communities and grassroots groups, culminating in the release in 2007 of The Carbon Connection, a 40-minute documentary compiled from a series of video letters between two communities affected by the global market. Other short films include Luta Quilombola and Our Land Our Struggle.

This work is accompanied by numerous workshops and extensive field research – including Brazil, India, Indonesia and Thailand, as well as speaking tours in Eastern and Western Europe and the US.

Carbon Trade Watch contributes to support building environmental and climate justice movements. Our work is embedded in various networks that promote radical alternatives to free-market environmentalism and advocate instead a climate justice agenda. In July 2003, Carbon Trade Watch organized a preliminary strategy meeting in Oxford bringing together critics of carbon trading from South and North, and in October 2004 a major international conference in Durban, South Africa saw the launch of “Climate Justice Now! The Durban Declaration on Carbon Trading.” The Durban Group has since become a focal point for critical analysis of carbon trading.

In December 2007, Carbon Trade Watch was amongst the co-founders of Climate Justice Now!, a broad network of movements and organisations around the world pushing for radical alternatives to the false solutions promoted at the heart of international climate policy. It is also part of the European-based network Climate Justice Action, which mobilised around the climate talks which took place in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Since January 2010, Carbon Trade Watch is an autonomous legal association based in Barcelona, Spain. The ‘new’ organisation, Environmental Justice Research Collective - EJRC, houses the same team and the on-going work of Carbon Trade Watch as well as expand into new research areas.


creativecommons 2024  Carbon Trade Watch