in: Matthias Dietz / Heiko Garrelts (eds.), Routledge Handbook of the Climate Change Movement, London: Routledge, 319-333
Long before the Kyoto Protocol was signed, a number of companies and NGOs started to invest voluntarily in forest carbon offsets thereby creating a voluntary carbon market. Within the climate movement, the assessment of forest carbon offsets for mitigating climate change is one of the major ‘battle lines.’ A large group of critical civil-society actors categorically rejects these instruments. This group sets the formation of carbon markets in the wider context of finance-driven neoliberalism. Rather established international NGOs, such as Conservation International actively support forest carbon offsets as additional incentives for forest conservation. In 2005 international NGOs, companies and academic institutions developed the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards (CCB). CCB standards aim to guarantee that certified projects mitigate climate change and contribute to local development and habitat conservation. Drawing on two forest carbon offsets certified according to the CCB standards this contribution analyzes the role of civil society actors within forest carbon offset governance and seeks to evaluate the in- and output legitimacy of the CCB standards. The authors argue that, the inclusion of free, prior and informed consent into the certification process of the CCB-Standards is a first step to improve the opportunities for local communities to participate in the project design process. Though, in the case of the two forest carbon offsets discussed in this contribution the standards fail to fulfill their main objective, namely guaranteeing the avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions.