Human Rights Violations Linked to CDM Biogas Project in Honduras
Dutch Member of the European Parliament (MEP) is demanding a crackdown on the use of carbon offset projects in Europe’s Emissions Trading Scheme. Developers of UN approved Honduran biogas project accused of serious human-rights violations.
Despite protests, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) executive board ruled that a project to generate biogas on a palm-oil plantation in the Bajo Aguán area will qualify for certified emissions reduction (CER) credits.
Project developer Grupo Dinant is alleged to have been at the center of violent conflicts with local people, who were deprived of their land during the building of the palm-oil plantation.
In a report presented to the European Parliament’s Human Rights Sub-Committee, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said 32 people were killed in Bajo Aguán between January 2010 and June 2011 in disputes with three major palm-oil producers.
All 27 EU member states have signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Bas Eickhout, a GreeLeft party MEP on the Environmental Committee says that he will push strongly for Climate Change Commissioner Connie Hedegaard to take the unilateral step of banning projects accused of violating human rights from Europe’s carbon market. Eickhout explains:
Europe, as the biggest buyer of CERs, can decide that these projects don’t comply with the rules that we in Europe think are important.
While the EU-27 may be committed to preventing human rights abuses, it is not necessarily equipped with the means of enforcing those rights. Under CDM rules, it is left to host countries to decide whether projects meet sustainable development criteria, including human rights.