Aguán Dispute Hinders Foreign Relations

The reported killing of 23 Honduran farmers in a dispute with the owners of UN-accredited palm oil plantations in Honduras is forcing the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) executive board to reconsider its stakeholder consultation processes.
In Brussels, the Green MEP Bas Eickhout called the alleged human rights abuses “a disgrace”, and told EurActiv he would be pushing the European Commission to bar carbon credits from the plantations from being traded under the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

Several members of the CDM board have been “personally distressed” by the events in Bajo Aguán, northern Honduras, according to the board’s chairman, Martin Hession, who said they had “caused us great difficulties.”

“Plainly, the events that have been described are deplorable,” he told EurActiv. “There is no excuse for them.”

But because they took place after the CDM’s stakeholder consultations had been held, and fell outside the board’s primary remit to investigate emissions reductions and environmental impacts, it had been powerless to block project registrations.

Another board member told EurActiv that Aguán was a “hot potato,” which struck at the heart of the emissions trading scheme’s integrity. “We all regret the situation extremely,” he said.


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