Watch The Carbon Rush
- 1 hr 24 min
The Carbon Rush, a 2012 documentary film directed and produced by Amy Miller, takes the audience on a global journey to explore how climate change has opened up an entirely new commodity market for trading carbon emissions. The film explores the consequences of the Kyoto Protocol and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) that was established for developing countries to reduce emissions and develop their economies simultaneously. The movie reveals how the CDM has been exploited by businesses and governments leading to fraudulent emission reductions, environmental and social disasters, land grabs and human rights violations. The Carbon Rush exposes the dark side of the carbon market through interviews with environmentalists, community leaders, indigenous people, and journalists from various countries such as Brazil, Honduras, India, and Canada. These personal stories shed light on the way corporations take away the traditional methods of living and the livelihoods of local populations in the quest for profit. The movie also features some prominent figures, including Daryl Hannah, an American actress and activist, and Karine Vanasse, a Canadian film and television actress. The documentary primarily focuses on the CDM, which is a market-based approach to mitigating carbon emissions. The film reveals that corporations are buying credits from developing countries, claiming that they are reducing emissions while simultaneously polluting the environment in the countries where they are established. The credits are bought under the guise of funding green projects that reduce emissions, but it is found that these projects are barely functional. The Carbon Rush highlights instances of these fraudulent credits that rich corporations buy from developing countries. As a case in point, the film shows how DuPont, an American chemical company, had purchased a substantial number of credits worth $12 million from the Santa VitÃ³ria Landfill Project in Brazil, which planned to reduce methane emissions by putting a landfill in place in 2009. The project was halted, and the credits turned out to be completely useless. This type of fraud occurs often, as described in the film, and these projects frequently lead to huge financial losses for investors. Apart from the financial aspect, the film examines how carbon emissions trading has turned into a mechanism for injustice and abuse of the people living in developing countries. The Carbon Rush takes a look at the social implications of these projects on the local communities. Particularly, the film examines the case of the Baleia Franca environmental reserve, which was threatened by the construction of 200 wind turbines. Local fishermen feared that this project, funded by carbon credits, would hinder their livelihoods by damaging the environment, reducing the fish population, and compromising the traditional methods of living. The community protested in opposition to the construction, but it went ahead anyway, leading to further problems. One of the most significant impacts of carbon trading is the forced displacement of indigenous people in the quest for profit. The film takes viewers to the Xingu River, Brazil, where the Belo Monte dam project displaced nearly 50,000 indigenous people. The project was approved by Brazil's government under the guise of combating climate change, but it drastically impacted the lives of the people living in the area. The documentary examines how the project led to destruction of the local ecosystem, including deforestation, flooding, and soil erosion. The Xingu River and its people's plight demonstrate how the carbon rush is hurting people and communities worldwide. Finally, the film raises the question of whether carbon trading is a legitimate solution to combat climate change. Despite being promoted as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the film highlights that carbon trading is not a sustainable solution. The documentary underlines that the developed nations have to shift away from a reliance on fossil fuels to truly combat climate change. The movie ends on a sobering note, emphasizing the gravity of the issue and the consequences of inaction. Overall, The Carbon Rush is a thoroughly researched, insightful, and provocative documentary that sheds light on the often-ignored reality of carbon trading. The documentary explores the pitfalls of the carbon market, showing how it has worsened the environmental and social crises it was supposed to alleviate. The film will leave viewers questioning the long-term viability of this market and the moral implications of this complex issue.