Environmental and grassroots organizations in Latin America demand their government’s to reject carbon credit projects that finance incinerators and landfills.

In a letter addressed to the respective national authorities designated to define the approval of projects for carbon credits, members of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico and Uruguay called their respective governments “not to approve CDM projects based on technology solutions that generate risks and negative impacts, and perverse incentives due to increased waste generation.

In the letter, they express concern about “the serious social and environmental problems brought by these projects” and urges the national institution designated to “review the “sustainable” certification criteria for landfills and incinerators under the CDM in order to exclude them immediately and definitively”. They add that these projects “are not only a source of pollution and social exclusion, but also displace more sustainable, more cost-effective options, that promote the work of informal recyclers that collect and separate waste manually in our countries.

In each country there are the so-called Designated National Authorities (DNA), which have responsibility for approval of projects seeking certification in the Clean Development Mechanism, which operates under the Kyoto Protocol.

In relation to the landfills, the organizations claim that through CDM projects “the burial of waste that could be recycled or composted is being supported, with serious consequences for the environment and recyclers communities”; a significant increase in methane generation is being artificially promoted; and the approval of laws requiring the capture of methane at these facilities to prevent explosions, fires and poisoning resulting from the accumulation of gases is being inhibited.

With regard to incineration and waste-to-energy derivations, GAIA members expressed that “it is unacceptable that (these facilities) receive financial resources to mitigate climate change”, arguing that “according to the Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), power generation from municipal waste incineration emits more CO2 per unit of energy than from coal fired power, and indeed, much higher than those that occur in a context of reduced waste generation, reuse and recycling of these materials.

They add that “the energy that could be generated by burning or similar processes is much lower than which could be conserved through recycling, virtually for all the different materials”, and that its capital and operating costs “are several times higher than for conventional generation technologies such as coal-based thermal and nuclear power.”

For these reasons, the signatories call on their governments to support “a fair climate financing regime, without the predominance of carbon markets, and through a global fund guided by considerations of equity and international responsibility on climate change, without the intervention of international banks and financial institutions.

Finally, they claim “available public and climate funds to implement public policies and programs aimed to reducing and separating waste at source, as well as to reuse and recycling; and promoting social inclusion in the activities associated with waste management, particularly the dignity and formalization of urban recyclers, fostering the internalization of positive environmental impacts.



Eduardo Giesen
Latinamerican Coordination GAIA

[email protected]
+56 9 9163.0995


Organizations signing the letter:


  • 56 organizations of Coalición Ciudadana Anti-incineración (complete list below)
  • Ecositio
  • BIOS
  • Centro Ecologista Renacer
  • Cipoleños Unidos
  • Ecos de la Sociedad
  • Taller Ecologista


  • Coleta Seletiva Brasil-Canadá
  • Instituto POLIS


  • Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales (OLCA)
  • RAP-AL Chile

El Salvador

  • CESTA / Amigos de la Tierra El Salvador


  • Revuelta Verde / Rising Tide México
  • Otros Mundos Chiapas / Amigos de la Tierra México
  • Crecimiento Ciudadano Organizado CRESCO
  • Frente Ciudadano en Defensa de las Áreas Naturales de Tlalpan
  • Jubileo Sur México
  • Fronteras Comunes
  • Centro de Análisis y Acción en Tóxicos y Alternativas (CAATA)


  • RAP-AL Uruguay
  • REDES / Amigos de la Tierra Uruguay

Members of Coalición Ciudadana Anti-incineración de Argentina:

Asociación Vecinal Moronense (Morón, Buenos Aires), Centro Ecologista Renacer (Villa Constitución, Santa Fe), Taller Ecologista (Rosario, Santa Fe), Greenpeace Argentina (Ciudad de Buenos Aires), FUNAM (Córdoba), BIOS Argentina (Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires), , Centro de Tecnologías Apropiadas de Argentina (Marcos Paz, Buenos Aires), Comisión Permanente de Protección de Nuestro Medio Ambiente, (Zárate, Buenos Aires), Alihuen (Santa Rosa, La Pampa), ONG Nuevo Ambiente (La Plata, Buenos Aires), Verde x Gris, nodo Sta Cruz (Los Antiguos, Santa Cruz), Movimiento Antinuclear de Chubut (Trelew, Chubut), Taller de Comunicación Ambiental (Rosario, Santa Fe), Acción por la Biodiversidad (Marcos Paz, Buenos Aires), Eco Sitio (Villa María, Córdoba), Grupo Ecologista Génesis (Rosario, Santa Fe), Asociación Argentina de los Médicos por el Medio Ambiente (Ciudad de Buenos Aires), Agrupación Cruzada X la Vida (Lanas, Buenos Aires), Asociación Amigos de la Vida (Sunchales, Santa Fe), Fundación por un Mundo Mejor (Formosa, Formosa), Asociación Ecologista de Zavalla “Compromiso” (Zavalla, Santa Fe), PROTEGER (Santa Fe), Asociación Civil Crecer Reconquista (Reconquista, Santa Fe), Agrupación Ambientalista Conciencia (Laguna Paiva, Santa Fe), Reconciliarnos con la Tierra (Marcos Paz, Buenos Aires), Vecinos Autoconvocados de Santo Tomé (Santo Tomé, Santa Fe), Centro de Atención Primaria Ambiental (Marcos Juárez , Córdoba), Fundación Ambiente Total (Resistencia, Chaco), Grupo Ambientalista Coquena de Villa Jardín de Reyes (San Pablo de Reyes, Jujuy), Alejandro Canderoli (Remedios de Escalada, Buenos Aires), Sociedad de Fomento Dock Sud (Avellaneda, Buenos Aires), Silvia Latrubesse/ Juan Carlos Acuña (Salto, Buenos Aires), Multisectorial por la preservación de las Sierras de Tandil (Tandil, Buenos Aires), Ing. Mario Avila (Las Catitas, Mendoza), Horacio Huerta (Salta), Asociación Ecológica de Lanús (Lanús, Buenos Aires), Estela Ambrosetti (Carrodilla, Mendoza), Agrupación Vecinos de Villa Allende contra la cremación e incineración de residuos peligrosos (Villa Allende, Córdoba), Grupo de Investigación sobre Medio Ambiente (Rosario de la Frontera, Salta), Semillas al viento (La Matanza, Buenos Aires), A.R.A. Agrupación Regina Ambiental (Villa Regina, Río Negro), Grupo Ecologista Bogado (Coronel Bogado, Santa Fe), Grupo de vecinos de Fray Luis Beltrán y Capitán Bermúdez (Fray Luis Beltrán, Santa Fe), Asociación Ambientalista Piuké (Bariloche, Río Negro), Sociedad ecológica regional (El Bolsón, Río Negro), M´BIGUÁ, ciudadanía y justicia ambiental (Paraná, Entre Ríos), Norma Azcárate (San Fabián, Santa Fe), AGMER filial Crespo (Crespo, Entre Ríos), Ricardo Barbieri (Tigre, Buenos Aires), Emilce Leone (Tres Arroyos, Buenos Aires), Cipoleños Unidos por el Ambiente (Cipolletti, Río Negro), Mesa Amplia por el Cierre Definitivo de Marcos Martini S.A. (Marcos Paz, Buenos Aires), Vecinos Autoconvocados contra la contaminación de CEAMSE de González Catán (La Matanza, Buenos Aires), Basura Cero Bahía Blanca (Bahía Blanca, Buenos Aires), Liliana Tonini (San Pedro Buenos Aires), Ecos de la Sociedad (Puerto General San Martín, Santa Fe)

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