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Story Publication logo June 30, 2021

Colombia's Largest Carbon Credit Project Could Be Selling Hot Air (Spanish)


Dense vegetation in the Amazon rainforest in Peru. The ground is covered in leaves.

The Latin American Center for Investigative Journalism (CLIP) and six Latin American media outlets...


This story excerpt was translated from Spanish. To read the original story in full, visit Mongabay. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.

In December 2018, Colombian Environment Minister Ricardo Lozano received —on behalf of his government— the international Carbon Pricing Champion Award for promoting innovative economic solutions to curb the climate crisis.

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That day, words of praise abounded for Colombia in the Polish city of Katowice, where the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference was underway. Dirk Forrister, who was once Bill Clinton's climate advisor and now heads the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) that awarded the prize, celebrated that "yet another country is using market mechanisms to advance the goals of the Paris Agreement," which had been signed three years ago and which at last —after multiple resounding failures— provided a glimpse of a new global consensus on how to resolve the crisis before it becomes irreversible.

His colleague Margaret-Ann Splawn, director of the Climate Markets and Investment Association (CMIA) and also patron of the award, emphasized that the Colombian case shows how "public policy is helping to drive technological advances by encouraging innovation and investment in [climate change] mitigation projects at low costs."

Image by Miguel Méndez.

Environment Minister Ricardo Lozano receives the Carbon Pricing Champion award. Image by Mongabay.

Aerial view of the Matavén reservation. Imae by the Etnollano Foundation.

The Matavén reservation is located at the transition between the Amazon and the Orinoquía natural region. Image by Etnollano Foundation.

Image by Miguel Méndez.