Action Alert

Fair trade or free trade? Let your voice be heard on Minnesota’s future!

The Obama Administration is negotiating two new mega trade deals (one with Pacific Rim countries, another with Europe) entirely in secret, with the goal of further expanding the NAFTA-model of free trade. These trade agreements could have major impacts on Minnesota's farmers, workers, small business owners and rural communities. They could limit Minnesota’s ability to support local food and energy systems and grow local businesses. In order to stay up to speed, Minnesota has set up a new Trade Policy Advisory Council (TPAC) to advise the state legislature and Governor.

TPAC wants to hear from Minnesotans: What concerns do you have about free trade? What role could TPAC play in the future? Now is your opportunity to have a say in our future trade policy. Complete the survey and let them know future trade negotiations should be public, not secret. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard in the development of trade agreements and that they protect local control and our quality of life. The free trade model has failed for Minnesota and we need a new approach to trade. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard before trade agreements are completed, and that they protect local control, our natural resources and our quality of life.

Please take five minutes and complete the survey. To find out more about these trade agreements, go to

Soil Carbon and the Offset Market: Practices, Players and Politics

By Doreen Stabinsky   
Published September 17, 2012

Carbon MarketsMarkets

A summary version of this piece is available in another IATP publication, entitled A Climate-smart Idea? Understanding the Politics, Practices and Players of the Agricultural Soil Carbon Market.

The arcane topic of soil carbon sequestration has become an item of significant political debate around the edges of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This brief provides an introduction to:

  • the market basics of soil carbon sequestration;
  • the organizations involved in turning soil and other agricultural carbon into a commodity and creating a supply of that commodity;
  • the curious role of the World Bank as carbon broker, trader and political manipulator, seeking rules at the UNFCCC that could serve to create demand for soil carbon.

We end the brief looking forward at new initiatives by agricultural carbon market proponents and the need for alternative policies that refocus attention on the needs of the small-scale farmers who are the least responsible for climate change and yet suffering its greatest impacts.

To continue reading the report, download the PDF.

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