Book Review: Climate Change, Carbon Trading and Civil Society

Climate Change, Carbon Trading and Civil Society: Negative Returns on South African Investments,  edited by Patrick Bond, Rehana Dada and Graham Erion

I’m a big fan of Patrick Bond, the director of the Centre for Civil Society and Professor of Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, who has been a courageous and steadfast voice of opposition to political and economic orthodoxies in South Africa for years.

His work, some of which is contained in previous books including The Elite Transition: From Apartheid to Neoliberalism in South Africa, Unsustainable South Africa: Environment, Development and Social Protest, Talk Left, Walk Right: South Africa’s Frustrated Global Reforms and Looting Africa: The Economics of Exploitation, provides a critical synthesis of two of the most important issues of our time: social justice and environmental justice.

Climate Change, Carbon Trading and Civil Society is available at Lobby Books for R212.00

Together with Rehana Dada and Graham Erion, Bond is the editor of Climate Change, Carbon Trading and Civil Society: Negative Returns on South African Investments, a book that provides a more than useful exposition of the responses to climate change in South Africa and elsewhere, focusing specifically on carbon trading, a mechanism that has been widely promoted as a means to mitigate global warming, particularly through the Kyoto Protocol. I’ve outlined my own take on the subject elsewhere.

The book consists of contributions from a range of local and international activists, organisations and researchers and although not all of the chapters are equally strong, the book as a whole provides a comprehensive overview of the issues involved. Bond and his collaborators make a very compelling argument for a rejection of carbon trading as an effective solution to the challenges of climate change, evaluate responses from civil society locally and internationally and suggest alternative approaches to the crisis.

Climate Change, Carbon Trading and Civil Society is required reading for anyone concerned about global warming and what should be done about it – particularly those who are interested in a critical perspective from the global South putting special emphasis on both environmental and social justice.

Andreas Späth, Idasa

Climate Change, Carbon Trading and Civil Society is available at Lobby Books for R212.00.

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