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Colonial dynamics in global climate politics | Decolonial Learning Session #23

This session dives into a decolonizing perspective on the role of carbon offsets in global climate politics. The two hour session consist of two parts. First, an interactive workshop will be moderated by Dr. Tamra Gilbertson and Thomas Joseph.Here, the audience will take part in facilitated group activity working to define key concepts in structural colonial oppression. The second half of the session is a lecture where Tamra and Thomas will speak on forest carbon offsets, ‘net-zero’ targets and carbon markets in climate global politics, explain what they are, their role in global climate policy, their shortfalls, problematic consequences, colonial ties and more, by the means of the previously defined key concepts. Lastly, they will speak about the critical resistance of carbon pricing in the Indigenous Climate movements and dive deeper into social and climate justice policies.

For the audio recording, click here.

About the speaker: Dr. Tamra Gilbertson is an activist-scholar, researcher and writer. She is an Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) Project Coordinator of the Climate Justice program. She was a founder and director of Carbon Trade Watch, and Coordinator of the Environmental Justice Project of the Transnational Institute (TNI). She has researched climate and environmental justice concerns for almost two decades, specifically the political economy of carbon trading and pricing. She is the author of Carbon Pricing: A Critical Perspective for Community Resistance (2017), among many other articles, book chapters and publications. She has training in photography, film-making and journalism and is currently a Lecturer at the University of Tennessee, Department of Sociology and The New School, Department of Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management. Thomas Joseph (Hoopa Valley Tribe) is a carbon-policy educator at the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN). Thomas will function as a representative for the IEN, which is a grassroots network of Indigenous leaders and communities across Turtle Island fighting for Environmental Justice and the Rights of Mother Earth.

Further Resources

  1. Carbon Pricing, V1: A Critical Perspective for Community Resistance, 2017
  2. Carbon Pricing, V2: A Popular Education Toolkit for Community Resistance, 2019
  3. Climate Finance, IEN, November 2022.
  4. Climate-Smart Agriculture, IEN, November 2022.
  5. Nature-Based Solutions, IEN, November 2022. 
  6. Hoodwinked in the Hothouse: Resist False Solutions to Climate Change. April 2021.
  7. 15 Years of REDD+: A Mechanism Rotten at the Core. WRM. 2022. 
  8. Carbon Pricing: A Popular Education Toolkit for Community Resistance. IEN and CJA, Volume 2. 2019.
  9. Carbon Pricing: A critical perspective for community resistance. Volume 1. IEN and CJA. 2017. 
  10. Indigenous Resistance Against Carbon report. IEN and OCI. 2021.
  11. Distraction from Climate Action video ESP & ENG. 2021.
  12. The Big Con: How Big Polluters are advancing a “net zero” climate agenda to delay, deceive, and deny
  13. Corporate greenwashing: “net zero” and “nature-based solutions” are a deadly fraud: GRAIN. April 2021 
  14. Geoengineering and Carbon Capture and Storage information
  15. REDD+  information
  16. Book recommendation: Climate Justice and Community Renewal

Selected Published Resources from Dr. Gilbertson

Gilbertson, Tamra. 2021. The financialization of nature and climate change policy: implications for mining-impacted Afro-Colombian communities. Community Development Journal, Volume 56, Issue 1, Pages 21–38.

Gilbertson, Tamra. 2021. La financierización de la naturaleza y las políticas sobre el cambio climático: Implicaciones Para las comunidades afrocolombianas afectadas por la minería. Community Development Journal,

Gilbert, Jacqueline Elyse, Tamra L Gilbertson, and Line Jakobsen. 2021. Incommensurability and corporate social technologies: a critique of corporate compensations in Colombia’s coal mining region of La Guajira. Journal of Political Ecology 28, no. 1, pg. 434-452. DOI:

Gilbert, Jacqueline Elyse, Tamra L Gilbertson, and Line Jakobsen. 2021. Inconmensurabilidad y tecnología social corporativa: una crítica a las compensaciones corporativas de la minería del carbón en la región de La Guajira. Journal of Political Ecology 28, no. 1. DOI:

Gilbertson, Tamra. 2020. Compensating for Development at the In-between and Edges of Extractive Capitalism: Socionature and Cultural Erasure in the Northeast Caribbean Colombian Coal Mining Region. Dissertation, University of Tennessee Department of Sociology. 

Tokar, Brian and Tamra Gilbertson (eds). 2020. Climate Justice and Community Renewal: Resistance and Grassroots Solutions. London and New York: Routledge.

Cabello, Joanna and Tamra Gilbertson. 2012. A colonial mechanism to enclose lands: A critical review of two REDD+-focused special issues. Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization, 12 (2): 162-180.


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