Maybe trade is the way forward? The WTO and others argue that integrating local producers into the global economy is the best way to channel money into local communities around the world and encourage more efficient production. Mexican maize farmers forced off their land to make way for this efficient process might beg to differ. Groups like Fairtrade and EqualExchange try to make sure that local producers benefit from this exchange. Meanwhile,
When you and I purchase carbon offsets for our driving or airplane flights, we are not making an aid donation. We are buying carbon credits that are generated through the hard work of people and organisations around the world. We are not simply paying to relieve our guilt. These credits represent real, measurable action to reduce climate change. And when the credits come from projects that improve local livelihoods, they serve a double benefit by reducing poverty and vulnerability.
Buying carbon offsets is not a cure-all. But, properly designed, they can be part of the solution to two problems.