We use cookies for site personalization, analytics and advertising. You can opt out of third party cookies. More info in our privacy policy.   Got it

Who is Harald?

One of the key figures in the negotiations on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – which met again in Bangkok in April – is Harald Dovland. He’s the appointed chair of the (now take a deep breath...) Ad-Hoc-Working-Group-on-Further-Commitments-for-Annex-I-Parties-under-the-Kyoto-Protocol, otherwise known as the AWG.

For 12 years, Mr Dovland headed up Norway's climate negotiations team. Nowadays he works in the private sector, for international consulting and engineering firm, Poyry plc. His branch publishes the Global Carbon Report which helps ‘market observers, analysts, policy makers and carbon market professionals in finance, energy and carbon-intensive industries’ understand and exploit ‘carbon markets’. And just to be clear about their orientation, an article on their website about the outcomes of last year’s Bali climate change conference draws the controversial conclusion that ‘carbon trading is instrumental to achieve sufficient [greenhouse gas] reduction’.

Others see carbon trading quite differently, as a way for corporations to continue their harmful business as usual. In the words of research and activist group Carbon Trade Watch, the growing international carbon market is ‘polluters successfully turning the potential threat of climate change into an opportunity for profit’.

Mr Dovland is clearly highly appreciated by his AWG colleagues, but it does seem rather strange that one of the most important negotiating forums on climate change is under the gavel of an employee of a firm which makes money out of promoting carbon trading.

*Nicola Bullard*

New Internationalist issue 412 magazine cover This article is from the June 2008 issue of New Internationalist.
You can access the entire archive of over 500 issues with a digital subscription. Subscribe today »

 

Help us produce more like this

Editor Portrait Patreon is a platform that enables us to offer more to our readership. With a new podcast, eBooks, tote bags and magazine subscriptions on offer, as well as early access to video and articles, we’re very excited about our Patreon! If you’re not on board yet then check it out here.

Support us »

Subscribe   Ethical Shop