BP is paying subsistence farmers across Mexico pennies on the dollar for carbon offsets in a scheme facilitated by the World Resources Institute, Bloomberg reports. The program, by which BP would pay subsistence farmers — who do not have formal education or access to the internet — to not cut down trees and to reforest parts of their land, only pays about 15% of the amount others are paying for Mexican carbon offsets.
The mountain village of Coatitila in eastern Mexico, after two years of work, received its first annual payment in late 2021 amounting to $40 per person of his community — about one-third of what a recently-canceled government program had paid, and far less than the $330 per person he had hoped to receive. “It’s pretty unjust,” Álvaro Tepetla, the village’s former leader, told Bloomberg. “You only find out about all this afterwards.” Benjamin Rontard, a Mexican climate researcher who wrote his doctoral thesis on Mexico’s carbon market at the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí, was far more blunt. It’s a “rip-off,” he told Bloomberg. They are preying on “campesinos who don’t have any other option for economic activity.” (Bloomberg $)