Carbon trading fraud in Belgium – “up to 90% of the whole market volume was caused by fraudulent activities”

From the Guardian:

Belgian prosecutors highlighted the massive losses faced by EU governments from VAT fraud today after they charged three Britons and a Dutchman with money-laundering following an investigation into a multimillion-pound scam involving carbon emissions permits.

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/carboncreditcertificate.jpg?w=500&h=382

The three Britons, who were arrested last month in Belgium, were accused of failing to pay VAT worth €3m (£2.7m) on a series of carbon credit transactions.

European authorities believe the EU has lost at least €5bn to carbon-trading VAT fraud in the last 18 months. Europol, the EU’s law-­enforcement operation, fears the fraud will be used in other areas, especially gas and electricity trading markets, after criminals found VAT fraud was one of the most lucrative financial frauds.

“Last month, the European police agency Europol reported that the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) had fallen victim to fraudulent trading activities over the past 18 months, worth €5 billion for several national tax revenues.

It estimates that in some countries, up to 90% of the whole market volume was caused by fraudulent activities.”

Four charged with carbon trading fraud in Belgium
http://www.risk.net/energy-risk/news/1585509/four-charged-carbon-trading-fraud-belgium

Meanwhile here in the USA, carbon is trading for 10 cents a ton on the Chicago Carbon Exchange:

h/t to WUWT reader “Michael”

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106 thoughts on “Carbon trading fraud in Belgium – “up to 90% of the whole market volume was caused by fraudulent activities”

  1. “It estimates that in some countries, up to 90% of the whole market volume was caused by fraudulent activities.”

    Make that “100% caused by fraudulent activities” and I’ll agree with it.

    The European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme…

    They misspelled “scam”…

  2. The first decade of the new century will forever be known as the decade of “Fraud and Ponzi Schemes”.

  3. Wasn’t this the whole purpose of carbon trading? They probably didn’t anticipate they’d be on the other side.

  4. Just a query. You state that “carbon” is trading for 10c/ton on the Chicago exchange. Is that carbon or carbon dioxide?

    The difference is significant (12/44 or 0.27) in that if it is carbon then you can put out 3.7 tons of CO2 for each ton of carbon right purchased.

  5. More here:

    http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/10/europol-74-billion-lost-from-carbon-trading-fraud-in-europe/

    “Europol, whose full name is European Law Enforcement Organization (sic), said that France, the Netherlands, Britain, and most recently, Spain have suspended or otherwise altered the application of value-added tax on carbon emissions permits. Belgium and Denmark are also changing their codes, Mr. Pederson said. The idea is to require the seller of the credits, rather than the buyer, to pay the tax. Such moves have resulted in a 90 percent decline in trading volume.”

  6. Would I be right in thinking that if we bought these carbon credits, that we could find some way to get our energy bills lowered?

    It would be a good time to do it, seeing as these credits are now only worth a few cents.

  7. Jeez.

    I’d be fraudulent too, if I could “clip the ticket” for 10% or 12.5% or whatever VAT applies to the carbon trading scam.

    Just imagine a 10+% impost on a shaky tax….. it is really a recipe for fiscal hapiness!

    What is your exact problem, Anthony?

  8. It cannot be repeated too often that the diagnosis of carbon dioxide being the villain is the cornerstone of the present ‘belief’. As a long retired GP (in his 90th year) I am aware that the medical profession is just as capable of making errors of diagnosis as other scientists are.

  9. The EU is a big money pit, latest is that the EU are complaining they were conned by the Pharms into panic over the Swine Flu and over ordering vaccine. Sorry but the EU just loves a panic as it means they can step in and control, it doesn’t need any help along the way.

  10. Financial markets tend to be a very good indicator as to the viability of a commodity and come to their own conclusions about these by pricing them as such.

    This time last year carbon was trading at $1.75. A year later it’s $0.10. Speaks volumes.

  11. We must remind people: the AGW science is bad science, but they could get “lucky” and be _sort of right_ about CO2 effects on global temperatures after all. So there is uncertainty.
    But on the other hand, we are CERTAIN, beyond any reasonable and unreasonable doubt, that the measures taken or proposed to curtail carbon emissions are pure NONSENSE.
    The AGW propaganda machine conveniently keeps the focus of the debate only on the scientific aspects, so that the carbon trading scam is never questioned.
    Now, as a side effect, if there is a policy that is in essence a legalized scam involving gobs of cash, which is also protected from public scrutiny (!), are you surprised that fraudsters jump on it to get easy money by exploiting its flaws?

  12. So venal EU politicians are complaining that their fraudulent tax based on fraudulent science was stolen by fraudulent carbon traders? Sounds like a turf war between two criminal gangs. I’m guessing the politicians complaining were only going spend it on access ramps so they could finally get both trotters in the trough….

  13. Belgium climate fraud?
    This is the newest post?
    Reading the AirVent and Bishop Hill’s blog, and not seeing anything new for four days at CA tell me something’s out of whack.
    My imagination does run wild sometimes…

  14. CO2 is odorless, tasteless, invisible and undetectable to humans. Man made CO2 is indistinghuishable from natural CO2. Schemes to trap CO2 in third world countries are essentially unverifiable.

    OBVIOUSLY the situation is enticing to all manner of fraudsters. The future of the world economy is based on trading certificates “certifying” trade in this “commodity”, the ultimate derivative!

  15. Will we have a mania similar to the Red Tulip mania and South Sea Bubble? Only time will tell. If it does I bet it will be a much bigger bubble than anything we’ve seen, and the subsequent crash will most likely usher in the next depression.

  16. Bubble, bubble…

    Just part of the romance of buccaneer capitalism!

    Remember that the late Ken Lay of Enron fame, was an early enthusiast for the monster Kyoto and all his works.

  17. Perfect example of the Emperor’s New Clothes. Quite hilarious really.

    Given they carried out a fraud on a fraud*, is it really fraud?

    * that is:
    (i) charging people for trading in air, then
    (ii) not actually giving them the air, but selling them virtual air, then
    (iii) taxing them on this virtual air, and
    (iv) letting them believe that spending this money will help save the planet!

  18. Peter of Sydney (03:18:49) : Will we have a mania similar to the Red Tulip mania and South Sea Bubble?
    Why the future tense, Peter? We do have… Not ” Will we have…”

  19. Are we surprised?

    It is difficult enough keeping track of fiat (imaginary) money systems, let alone fiat carbon.

    Carbon Credits (Carbon fiat money) are created by oddball organisations run by Greenie activists, with none of the usual checks and balances in the tried and (generally) trusted banking system. If the well-established banking system can create fraudulent trades and bubble inflation, then the unregulated CCs do not stand a chance.

    I will upload my article on Carbon Credits again.

    .

  20. Dear Mod.

    This is a long post, not sure if it is acceptable.

    Global Warming and the Carbon Trading Scam

    Welcome to the world of legal pyramid selling, and the newest scam in town is Carbon Trading. Roll up folks, roll up – make £billions and save the planet at the same time. To good to be true? You bet, but there is no point missing out on a good scam.

    So what is Carbon Trading, and what is it supposed to achieve? Well, it was created by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which was signed by many countries in 2005, but ratified by only 32. Since then many other nations have ratified the protocol, but America remains a significant absentee, although its 2007 Climate Security Act may finally bring America into the Kyoto fold.

    The goal of Carbon Trading was to set up a worldwide trade in Carbon Credits (CCs), designed around a standard market mechanism, so that greenhouse gas producers could be penalised while greenhouse gas consumers could be rewarded. While you might think that CCs only apply to carbon dioxide, there are actually six primary pollutants included in the scheme, and these include methane, CFCs and nitrous oxide. Significantly, the scheme also covers water (water vapour), but more on that later.

    So far, so good: we are saving the planet through capitalist market regulation, rather than government bureaucracy. But why choose a market-based system? Surely, if you want to penalise greenhouse gas emitters, you just measure their output and tax it; and then ring-fence those taxes for use on environmental projects. A tax of £5 per tonne of CO2 produced per year would soon get polluters adding scrubbers to their smoke stacks. So why the trading scheme?

    This is a good question. The answer cannot simply be that the current generation of politicians are so firmly wedded to capitalist markets, that everything has to be done that way; it has to be that Carbon Trading is simply another method of inflating the economies of the world, because it creates money. But how does it do that? Well, markets can be created in anything. Airlines trade ‘landing slots’ at Heathrow, and these have matured into a market all of their own, and are now regarded as legitimate ‘money’. And lots of money at that. In 2004, Qantas bought two Heathrow slots at $16 million each. In October, Lufthansa bought 50% of BMI for about £320 million. So why buy a small airline for such a huge sum at the beginning of a slump in the airline industry? Answer: they were not interested in BMI, they were buying their Heathrow landing slots, which they will now add to their financial balance sheets. But this is all fresh air accounting, because landing slots have no real value. If Heathrow were to build another two runways, or move to the Thames estuary, those slots would be worth about 35p each, and Lufthansa would have made a poor purchase.

    So how does Carbon Trading create money? Well, industries and polluters were originally given ‘grandfather rights’ – free Carbon Credits (CCs) that reflected their past emissions output. These CCs were then traded through London brokers, and acquired a value – they became ‘money’. But this had the perverse effect of rewarding the largest polluters, by giving them the most CCs (the most ‘money’). In addition, it was very difficult to regulate how many CCs were given to each and every industry around the world, so individual plant managers, especially in India and China, made hugely inflated claims about their emissions, in order to get a larger allocation of ‘grandfather’ CCs. These CCs were then traded on the open market and brought in huge profits (of ‘real’ money) for these unscrupulous companies. As usual, Britain played by the rules of cricket and got nothing.

    The net effect of this new market in CCs, is to create a whole new raft of ‘money units’. Some money units are called pounds, some dollars, its just that these ‘money units’ are called Carbon Credits (CCs), for they have achieved the status of ‘real money’. But like landing-slots at Heathrow, CCs are fresh-air money-units that are adding to the global over-supply of fiat (or false) money. These are some of the false ‘money units’ that banks have invested so heavily in, and are now finding to be as worthless as American ‘sub-prime money units’; which is why the banks have great holes in their financial accounts and we now have a credit crunch.

    But this is not the only problem, for the whole concept of a Carbon Trading Market is perverse. For example, refrigeration manufacturers in India and China were given huge numbers of Carbon Credits (CCs) because their CFC emissions were hugely polluting. Subsequently, these manufacturers installed scrubbers to reduce CFC emissions, and then sold their excess CCs on the global market for around £4 billion. Planet saved? A success story? No! It would only have cost an international fund about £150 million to install scrubbers on these polluters, so these companies have pocketed an obscene profit. In addition, they have sold on the ‘right to pollute’ to other companies (by selling their CCs), and so now that pollution will be transferred from China and India to, say, America or Brazil. Trading Carbon Credits does not reduce greenhouse gasses, it just spreads them around a bit.

    In addition, the Clean Development Mechanism creates yet more CCs – more ‘rights to pollute’. If, say, a company wants to build a CO2 consuming industry, like ‘carbon capture’ technology, it can be issued with new CCs – new rights to pollute. Now you might think that this is good, because atmospheric CO2 is being reduced by these new technologies, but David Victor, a carbon analyst of Stanford University, estimates that 60% of emission reduction or capture schemes are fraudulent. But new CCs have been issued, and new rights to pollute have been created, so that China and Russia can continue pumping out yet more noxious gasses.

    Even the one or two honest Clean Development Mechanisms are probably a waste of time. Many of these schemes for ‘carbon capture’ involve planting trees, which at face value might seem like a worthwhile enterprise. However, trees do not capture CO2 unless you bury them. As trees grow they consume (capture) CO2; but many trees burn in wild-fires or simply die and rot, releasing their CO2 back into the atmosphere, so no CO2 has been captured. If the wood is logged and used as timber, it will eventually find its way onto a rubbish dump or fire at the end of its useful life, and so the CO2 is again released. The only way to capture CO2 through trees is to bury the timber, which I have not heard proposed as yet. But even if this is done, some bright environmentalist spark will point out that these buried trees are producing methane, which can be used for generating electricity. A good idea? No, because the tree’s CO2 will simply be released back into the atmosphere. Trees are only a temporary storage media for CO2, not a solution for rising atmospheric CO2 levels.

    Then there is the issue of the current price of CCs. It has been estimated that in order to be punitive to polluters, each CC should be valued at around £30 to £40. However, there is so much fraud in the CC market, with millions of CCs being created on the back of creative accounting, that the price of each CC has slumped. They currently stand at around £12 each, and so it is now cheaper to buy CCs and pollute, rather than invest in new technology to reduce emissions. And even if you do reduce your emissions, you can then sell on your excess CCs so that someone else can pollute instead. In short, Carbon Trading does nothing to reduce overall emissions output. Indeed, in June 2008 SmartMoney magazine stated that Carbon Trading was the ‘ultimate rigged market’, and that the value of CCs was not simply regulated by market forces but also by the fortunes of the various Green movements. When Al Gore jumped on the bandwagon prices rose, when his arguments were torn to shreds they fell. This is not a market that will regulate or have any hope in reducing greenhouse gasses.

    So now we come to the whole crux of this fraudulent Carbon Trading market, the great unspoken issue of water vapour. A while back I said that Carbon Trading covers all the major greenhouse gasses, including water vapour; but water vapour has been brushed aside, as it it almost wholly natural in origin. But why do we have the mention of water vapour at all? Well, the great unspoken scientific fact is that water vapour is the greatest greenhouse gas of them all. Yes, pure, unadulterated, ‘harmless’ water is the greatest evil of our time. As a political sound-bite this does not really have the right ring to it, and so it has been dropped in favour of the rather insignificant influence of CO2 and the dreaded ‘carbon footprint’.

    In actual fact, water vapour accounts for 60% of the total greenhouse effect on the Earth; and if we include the action of clouds, which are also greenhouse ‘gasses’, water produces 90 – 95% of the total greenhouse effect. If we then recall that man only accounts for 5% of total annual CO2 emissions, then it suddenly becomes obvious that man is only accountable for 0.25% of greenhouse gasses. In other words, man’s effect on the environment is miniscule in comparison to the expansive forces of nature.

    A counter argument is that our small effect is cumulative – that our contribution of CO2 is building up over the years and is becoming significant. This is not necessarily so. There is considerable interchange every year between atmospheric CO2 and the CO2 dissolved in the oceans, and man’s annual CO2 production represents only about 6% of the annual churn of CO2 between sea and sky. So why is the total proportion of atmospheric CO2 increasing? Is this the result of industrial pollution? Probably not. It is a known scientific fact that CO2 is given off by the oceans as they warm, and the oceans have indeed been warming over the last four decades, and so this atmospheric CO2 increase is both natural and predictable. But why are the oceans warming? The BBC jumped upon a 2005 report by the American Association for the Advancement of Science which claimed that ocean warming was caused by CO2 emissions and Global Warming. But every indicator, from the great ice ages onwards, indicates that CO2 concentrations lag behind sea temperature. In other words, changes in sea temperature cause atmospheric CO2 levels to fluctuate, and not vice verse.

    It is a fact that sea temperatures have been rising over the last four or five decades and this increase is often blamed upon Global Warming.

    http://www.csiro.au/news/OceansWarming.html.

    But Global Warming may well be a symptom, not a cause of this warming. So what other factors can warm the sea to such a degree, that it is emitting more CO2 than it absorbs. Two factors are likely to be in play here: solar output and ocean currents. In the first of these, it is a known fact that solar output has slowly increased over the last century, and it may be this increasing solar activity that is warming the oceans. This increase has plateaued recently, but more on that later.

    http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/sun_output_030320.html

    http://solar-center.stanford.edu/sun-on-earth/glob-warm.html

    It is also a scientific fact that the sea currents undergo periodic changes in direction and temperature, and that oceanic temperature rises can be symptomatic of these periodic fluctuations. El Nino and La Nina are the most famous of these oceanic oscillations. This general warming trend, in both Sun and sea, can then induce a ‘positive feedback’ mechanism, whereby the increased sea temperature then increases atmospheric water vapour and CO2 concentrations, which are both significant greenhouse gasses – and so the warming trend continues up to a natural maximum limit. Another of these oceanic fluctuations is called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and Prof Don Easterbrook of Washington University has recently suggested that the limit of its recent warming trend has been reached in the Pacific. In fact, he goes on to speculate that the entire Global Warming phenomena may also be at an end, and that we face three decades of Global Cooling.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/07/20/shifting-of-the-pacific-decadal-oscillation-from-its-warm-mode-to-cool-mode-assures-global-cooling-for-the-next-three-decades/

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/view.php?old=2006092123135

    Global Cooling? But we all know that the Earth and its atmosphere are still warming, don’t we? While governmental and environmentalist propaganda (and the BBC) may still be promoting the Global Warming scam, the Inconvenient Truth of the matter is that the world has been cooling for the last ten years. Yes, surprising as it may seem, the Earth reached its maximum average temperature in 1998, and has been cooling ever since. This is why some of the more evasive environmentalists now refer to ‘Climate Change’ rather than ‘Global Warming’, because they cannot substantiate the latter title, while the former is indisputable – the climate is always changing. But in which direction?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/02/19/another-global-temp-index-dives-in-jan08-this-time-hadcrut/

    http://digitaldiatribes.wordpress.com/2008/09/28/september-2008-update-on-global-temperature-hadcrut/

    The data shows a clear dip in global temperatures following the 1998 peak, but the real question is where do temperatures go from here? A dip in temperatures over ten years, following a steady rise over previous decades, does not prove a reversal. This could be a short-lived blip in an upward trend that will continue unabated in subsequent years, perhaps because it coincides with a periodic dip in solar output due to the Sun-spot cycle. However, within that casual suggestion lies a greater possibility, for it is a little-known fact that the best link between a global variable and observed global temperatures lies not between temperature and CO2 levels, but between temperature and geomagnetism. (see graph**) So how does geomagnetism influence global temperatures? Well, geomagnetic activity is directly proportional to sunspot activity and the resulting levels of solar-wind, which Prof Landscheit suggests is the prime ‘forcing agent’ of global warming.

    However, Prof Landscheit and others suggest that the general upward trend that has been witnessed in Solar-wind output this century is now beginning to decline; and, due to periodic cycles in the spin characteristics of the Sun, it is further predicted that this will result in three decades of decreasing solar-wind and decreasing global temperatures. In addition, the data from the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the change in ocean currents in the Pacific, also suggests a distinct cooling period. But if sea temperatures cool, more CO2 will be absorbed by the world’s oceans and a reversed feedback loop may well establish itself. As Prof Don Easterbrook suggests, the observed oceanic cooling in the Pacific may herald three decades of Global Cooling, a cooling that will be in sympathy with the decline in solar activity.

    This process may already be in action, as the ice sheets in the Antarctic have grown to unprecedented levels in recent years. Yes, ice-sheets growing! Now you don’t hear about that on the BBC.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3066

    http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20020015034521data_trunc_sys.shtml

    The reason you may not have heard about all of this, is that we live in a world propaganda bubble that has all the attributes of a New Age religion, including its established doctrines that cannot be challenged and its Al Gore-style high priesthood. This may initially appear to be a media bubble organised by a media elite, who all worship the same environmentalist god, which is why the BBC now appears to blame anything and everything on Global Warming. There is some truth to this, as the media likes to tell a story and exaggerate, to keep its viewers enthralled, and this is a never-ending news story that can be exaggerated indefinitely right up to Hollywood proportions.

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Io-Tb7vTamY&feature=related

    However, The Global Warming swindle is a governmental bubble too. If you really want to ‘follow the money’, it does not lead back to greedy oil companies, who are more than happy to invest in wind-power if there is money to be made there instead. No, the money trail leads back to the governments of this world, who have been cooperating to a remarkable degree to undermine scientific debate and honesty. Why? Because of fear and taxes. Governments always like to keep their people in fear of something, because they will then seek protection – from the government. Keep the people fearful and thus keep them docile. Its good for taxes too – how else could a government force through huge increases in taxes on basics, like oil and energy?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Global_Warming_Swindle

    http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110008220

    http://www.climatechangefraud.com/content/view/2679/218/

    Meanwhile, back at the financial dealing desks for Carbon Credits, another commodity is about to crash. But perhaps I should not use the term ‘commodity’, for Carbon Credits (CCs) are an abstract construct that have even less contact with the real world than our over-inflated monetary systems. If there was ever an emperor with no clothes, it is a carbon trader declaring that a CC is worth £30 or £20 or £10, or any other figure that he or she may invent. CCs are a new pyramid selling scheme, that only survives as long as someone is promoting it and as long as there are more gullible customers pilling into this new market. But there are not. A small element of science is beginning to doubt the Global Warming trends, fraud has destabilised the Carbon Trading market, and a global recession will flood this already unsteady market with millions of unwanted CCs. The price of a CC is about to fall through the floor, and I expect that the whole concept of a Carbon Trading market will fall over the cliff with it.

    So where do we go from here? Well, while I remain to be convinced that Global Warming is anything other than a governmental con-trick, to increase taxes and the general money supply, the notion of controlling industrial emissions is a noble one. The simplest method of doing this would be through taxes, and so a tax on everything from sulphur dioxide to heavy metals emissions should be levied on industry. But there is absolutely no point in doing this if we are the only nation to play by the rules, as we will only succeed in driving our industry towards bankruptcy. We have already achieved this with our multitude of planning regulations, disabled access, health and safety directives and existing emissions regulations, which have driven our factories to India and China, where no such regulations exist. What, I ask you, is the point of proclaiming that our factories are now 100% healthy and safe (because they now stand empty), while millions of Chinese are being injured and maimed to make the products we buy? Where are the overall health and safety benefits in that strategy? Ditto our export of noxious emissions to China, which often find their way back to us in the form of polluted fish and acid rains.

    But if we cannot rely on the Far East to play by international rules, then the alternative is a degree of protectionism, a policy that the party already endorses. While I personally believe that international trade is good for us and the wider world, it can only exist and prosper when the playing-field is level. Clearly, the pitch upon which we play the trade-game with China is sloped at a 30 degree angle towards our goal-mouth, so it is hardly surprising that we cannot score any trade goals against China. The Chinese have no great regard for health and safety, emissions, planning, pay, health care or pensions, so it is hardly surprising that our industry cannot compete. What is required is a 10% import tax for each of these items, and more besides, until China gets its industrial house in order. Only then will China, India and the rest of the Far East adopt Western industrial standards, and only then will the worldwide emission of toxic chemicals from industry be reduced.

    We don’t need Carbon Trading, we need an element of protectionism.

    Ralph Ellis
    June 2008

  21. This scam is alive and well and some organisations seem to think it even has a future:-

    Edinburgh University is looking for students to do an MSc in Carbon Management – to start in September 2010 – fee £8,600, excluding books, accomodation etc.

    http://www.business-school.ed.ac.uk/msc/carbon-management.

    quote 1 …. “We can draw on the teaching and knowledge of some of the world’s leading authorities in the subject, including lead authors from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)”……unquote.

    quote 2 .. “By the end of the programme, students will understand the key drivers behind the carbon economy, its financial imperatives and the regulatory framework in which it operates.

    This will provide students with the qualifications and expertise to secure positions, for example, in specialist consultancies, with financial analysts, as carbon managers in major organisations or in helping to set the agenda at governmental level.” – unquote.

    Please form an orderly queue over there please!

  22. ” tokyoboy (00:16:34) :

    The market news below says the price is ca. 13 Euros per ton CO2 as of 5 Jan 2010:

    http://carbonpositive.net/viewarticle.aspx?articleID=1794

    What’s the huge difference between this and the 10 to 15 cents/t-CO2? As a layman knowing little economics this is a big enigma…..”

    EU is kyotoland, power plants are obliged to buy or have carbon permits. For them, a carbon permit has a real value.

    USA has a CO2 exchange where people MAY buy carbon permits to feel better. For instance Al Gore buys carbon permits voluntarily to compensate nature for his squandering of energy. As nobody is FORCED to buy them in the USA, these carbon permits have only a symbolic value.

    It’s two completely different sets of carbon permits, they’re not interchangeable.

  23. Actually 100% of all carbon trading market activity is “caused by fraudulent activities”. This situation is not limited to Belgium. ( I know too easy)

  24. “Ken Hall (00:54:29) :
    Would I be right in thinking that if we bought these carbon credits, that we could find some way to get our energy bills lowered?”

    …No, you would not. This is a scheme to permit the emission of carbon dioxide through various industrial activities. The only way you could pay your bills with it is to buy and sell trading instruments on the carbon exchanges or invest in the companies that do.

    ***************************************************************************

    The $10 Billion Dollar Racket
    (-and that’s just what we know about).

    Three British charged over €3m carbon-trading ‘carousel fraud’

    • Belgium alleges VAT scam over carbon emissions permits
    • Europol fears fraud will be used in energy trading markets

    11 January 2010

    Belgian prosecutors highlighted the massive losses faced by EU governments from VAT fraud today after they charged three British and a Dutchman with money-laundering following an investigation into a multimillion-pound scam involving carbon emissions permits.

    The three British, who were arrested last month in Belgium, were accused of failing to pay VAT worth €3m (£2.7m) on a series of carbon credit transactions.

    European authorities believe the EU has lost at least €5bn to carbon-trading VAT fraud in the last 18 months. Europol, the EU’s law-­enforcement operation, fears the fraud will be used in other areas, especially gas and electricity trading markets, after criminals found VAT fraud was one of the most lucrative financial frauds.

    Pollution permits for businesses were launched in the European Union in 2005 in an effort to cut carbon emissions. But the lack of harmonised tax regimes across the EU has prevented the creation of an orderly market that eliminated fraud.

    The fraud occurs when carbon credits are bought and imported tax-free from other EU countries, then sold to domestic buyers, charging them VAT. The UK allows credits to be sold without adding VAT, while Belgians must pay VAT when they buy credits. Once the transaction, or series of transactions, are complete, the sellers disappear without paying the tax.

    The three British allegedly set up a firm in Tournai, in west Belgium, which bought the credits in Britain and sold them on to banks via an intermediary, pocketing the 21% VAT charged in Belgium.

    The three British suspects deny the charges. Last August, the British tax office arrested seven people in London in a suspected £38m carbon market VAT fraud.

    Several other EU states have raised concerns about the potential for fraud in the market. A European commission working group approved a proposal in December to apply a “reverse charge” mechanism to carbon trading to stop VAT fraud.

    The move came too late to stop the an estimated £5bn believed fraud, which critics argue has largely to have been siphoned off successfully by criminal gangs. In December, French authorities arrested four people suspected of a €156m carbon carousel fraud on France’s BlueNext exchange. Britain lost about £10bn from VAT fraud in 2006 and 2007.

  25. Solution to problem – eliminate VAT on CO2 certificates.

    I don’t know why the VAT was there in the first place. There is no VAT on stock, bond or commodity futures trading. This fact should confirm anyone’s suspicions that the whole charade is just a gigantic money making scam for governments.

  26. >>Will we have a mania similar to the Red Tulip mania
    >>and South Sea Bubble?

    Not according to the current CC price.

    The cost of CCs was hitting €25 a while ago, but now we are down at €0.15 – so I think the South Sea bubble has already burst.

    With prices in the range they are at now, the whole CC scheme is utterly pointless. Hopefully, it will die a slow death, and then we might think of something else. I don’t think CO2 is a problem anyway, but if you want to control pollution of any nature, direct taxation (or fines) per unit of pollutant is the answer.

    .

  27. This news was mentioned in my newspaper this morning: the whole sideline-article measured less than an inch… “Nothing to see here!”

    I’m not surprised a Dutchman is involved: if we see a business oportunity we jump on it. If it’s legal or not is not an issue if there’s money to be made.

    Or as our prime-minister put it “Show some of that V.O.C.-mentality!”.

    V.O.C. -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_East_India_Company

  28. With stories like this, it’s good to know that the Nobel prize-winning IPCC has done such a splendid job helping the “policy makers” with their “decision making”…

  29. “The EU is a big money pit” and so is the U.S., only we do it through fraudulent financial instruments and government funding of them through stroking bankers/financiers. I am beginning to smell some similarities to the end of the age of Robber Barons (late 19th C into recessions/bubbles during the first part of the 20th C along with the Populist and Progressive movements. (Not the current Progressives who are Marxist-Islamist-Extremist-Lovers and who have taken over the Democratic Party and some of the Republicans.)

    If we are smart today and return to living within our means and becoming accountable to reasonable laws, maybe, just maybe, we still have a chance to avoid a worldwide Great Depression. Of course, we also must stop the global scams now, and, most essentially, return to loving CO2 and treasuring global warmth.


  30. 20+ Lawmakers Hit Copenhagen on US Dime

    Full delegation—including staffers, plus wives—over 100

    (Newser) – More than 20 members of Congress hit the Copenhagen climate conference last month, a CBS investigation finds—and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, which was in charge of the guest list, is being shifty about what it all cost. Of the fact that lawmakers (and some wives) commandeered three military transport jets while a contingent of staffers flew commercial, Sharyl Attkisson observes that, “even if Congress didn’t get a global agreement, they left an indelible footprint all the same.”

    With the total (and bipartisan) delegation numbering well over 100, CBS looks at what makes up the tab:

    * Three military jets at $9,000 per hour: $168,000 in flight time alone.
    * Dozens of commercial flights at $2,000 a pop.
    * 321 hotels nights booked, many at a five-star joint.
    * Plus meals.

    Indeed, notes Republican Sen. James Inhofe, a climate skeptic who went on his own, “The worst thing that happened there is they ran out of caviar.”

  31. DirkH (04:14:06) :

    USA has a CO2 exchange where people MAY buy carbon permits to feel better. For instance Al Gore buys carbon permits voluntarily to compensate nature for his squandering of energy. As nobody is FORCED to buy them in the USA, these carbon permits have only a symbolic value.

    It’s two completely different sets of carbon permits, they’re not interchangeable.

    Oh that’s too bad. I was going to buy in the USA and sell in Japan. Easy money.

    Did anyone else notice the governments said nothing about these scams until they were missing their VAT taxes? Wonder what would have happened if these guys had paid off the government. Or maybe that was the only way they could make any money.

  32. People are getting dumber by the minute…

    [snip - I agree but I'm not going to raise that topic here, as it's as bad as chemtrails -A]

  33. Let’s see:

    Company A (A) produces 15,000 tons (okay, tonnes for non-US) of CO2 per annum.

    Company B (B) produces 1,000 tons/tonnes of CO2 per annum.

    The Gummint (G – generic) buys into (literally) the position that CO2 is a pollutant, and declares that anyone producing more that 10,000 tons/tonnes of CO2 p.a. will be taxed on the excess at the rate of $10 per ton/tonne.

    Carbon Trader (C) appears and says, “I can make everybody happy, all the time, *and* I’ll save Teh Planet while doing so!”

    C turns to B and says, “I’ll give you a dollar for every ton/tonne of CO2 you *don’t* produce between 4,000 and 10,000 tons/tonnes. C then gives B $6,000 for the difference between 4,000 and 10,000 tons/tonnes.

    C then turns to A and says, “I’ll sell you offsets which will allow you to keep right on doing what you’re doing, avoid the taxes on that 5,000 ton/tonne excess you’re currently producing, *and* I’ll charge you less than the rate at which the Gummint will tax you.” C then charges A $5 per ton/tonne and sells A 5,000 of the non-produced tons/tonnes from B. C charges A $25,000.

    G then enters the picture and says, “Hey — you promised that *everybody* would be happy, and I’m…oh, wait. I can tax A’s offsets at a lesser rate because he’s now “green” and I can tax the cash that B got as windfall profits *and* collect taxes from C on his profits. Cool!”

    Now, A continues to pump out 15,000 tons/tonnes of CO2 p.a., B stays the course and pumps out 1,000 tons/tonnes p.a., C is making $4 per ton/tonne with every trade, G is collecting money from *everybody*, and the only ones who aren’t happy are A’s customers because A passed along the increased price of doing business to *them*. And, ummmmm, A is the local power plant, or the trucking firm that brings food from the farms to the markets, or the oil refinery, or the auto manufacturer.

    Soooooo, there’s no reduction in CO2, there’s no additional goods being produced, the only thing that’s changing hands is money, and the only one getting hurt by it is the general public, which now has to pay more for A’s product.

    Gee, what could go wrong?

  34. and then theres the italian /uk windmill scammers.
    and
    and
    I just bet theres a lot more Inventive accounting going on.
    Ralph Ellis long post, true, but a ripper!
    thanks to the mod for putting it up:-) too.

  35. The Green bubble. The window for fraud is why they want it so badly. George Soros is a convicted felon and finances Climate Progress. This green monster and the alternative energy market is wide open for graft and manipulation. The temp numbers are off. The models are wrong but they claim correct, right and good will come out of the cesspool.
    These people are “progressive”

    They want to shake down oil companies and coal and “invest” in unreliable and innefficient wind. They related industries can’t be trusted.
    We need to sequester the carbon climate crisis cartel.

  36. I keep thinking of all those farmers who sighned up to make money from carbon credits last year. I bet they would love to visit with the salesman who convinced them to sign up and agree to certain land use pratices for what is zero dollars now.

  37. Jacob Livingston (01:34:50) :
    It’s still a good idea but you guys just look for all of the negatives in every story :(

    90% fraud in trading an element who’s harmful effects are over-hyped 1000%… that’s a big negative. No need to go looking for it.

  38. “It estimates that in some countries, up to 90% of the whole market volume was caused by fraudulent activities.”

    Don’t they mean that 90% of the whole market is subject to another layer of fraud? It’s a new definition of “pyramid scheme”… the base is the 100% fraudulent claim that VAT will reduce carbon emissions. The next layer is the 90% fradulent trading of said vat credits… the next layer up is 80% fraudulent distribution of funds… then 70% fraudulent spending of said funds in third world nations… 60% fraudulent provision of goods from said purchases… 50% fraudulent use of said equipment… 40% fraudulent accounting of outcome… 30% fraudulent reporting on program outcome… and so on, down to the completely sincere and gullible who actually buy carbon credits believing they are saving the world.

  39. @ Ralph (04:04:19)

    Phew! Feel better after that rant, Ralph?

    An excellent and very coherent contribution. Thanks. You should send it to all the MSM and party central offices.

    Michael

  40. “Meanwhile here in the USA, carbon is trading for 10 cents a ton on the Chicago Carbon Exchange:”

    Excellent. I’ve just ordered 10,000 tons for early delivery to the Whitehouse doorstep. It’s a gift to the President. I hope he doesn’t get his fingers dirty moving it.

  41. “USA has a CO2 exchange where people MAY buy carbon permits to feel better. For instance Al Gore buys carbon permits voluntarily to compensate nature for his squandering of energy.”

    Hey, doesn’t Gore buy those permits/credits from himself therefor not paying a bloody farthing.

  42. “Pouring the empty into the void” business. What kind of goods do these guys manufacture?, is it not the same as printing fake currency?, is it not the same like plastic´s invention?
    Chemically pure speculation should be banned in the world, anything which entails the equivalent to printing money should be considered a forbidden activity. Any “stock” exchange should be exactly that: The exchange of goods´stocks, not of imaginary shares.

  43. Well, there goes my hope to make some extra money off my renewable, CO2 gobbling, recyclable trees. Nothing like you “deniers” to bust people’s bubbles :P
    /sarcasm

  44. This is really a story about tax evasion. Carbon markets have there issues but I don’t see this as casting a negative light on carbon, as the scam could apply to any number of commodity markets.

    The CCX price is also grossly misleading with regards to what is going on in the US carbon market. The real pre-compliance market is in California under the Climate Action Reserve where carbon sells for $7 to $10 per ton. The CAR market has led to the decline of the CCX price.

  45. Ummm…

    Isn’t it obvious to everyone that this story is a fraud?

    Only Americans can be greedy fraudsters trying to destroy the environment.

    Oh – and they have to be Republicans too.

    Geez.

  46. Is it the only fraud up there?, what about Brussels and all its EU institutions, really redundant and intended for a global governance. Don´t believe it?, just think, the good all days of the ASTM is ended now ISO reings and it is mandatory…,etc.etc.etc.

  47. No surprise there.

    The people who control the system will be the people who make the money.

    Follow the money…it will take you to the core of elites that will scam this system (if it ever gets off the ground here in America) just like Enron did to the California electricity market.

    Who loses out?

    The average Joe.

  48. Shayle Kann with some group called Greentech Media seems to think it’s a buyer’s market:

    “Copenhagen didn’t result in a binding agreement to curb emissions, the U.S. hasn’t passed a comprehensive climate bill, and the lingering recession has caused the price of carbon credits to plummet.
    It could be a good time to buy.”

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/181985-carbon-credits-its-a-buyers-market

    Yeah, right!

    I notice he didn’t mention the VAT scam.

    Paul

  49. Science must end climate confusion
    VIEWPOINT
    Richard Betts

    Climate scientists need to take more responsibility about how their work is presented to the public, suggests the Met Office’s Richard Betts. In this week’s Green Room, he says it is vital to prevent climate science being misunderstood or misused.

  50. I can’t figure out from that article if they are complaining that con artists don’t pay taxes on their ill-gotten gains (that sounds so European, but then that’s how the US finally nailed Al Capone). . . or if the underlying carbon credit sales were actually valid and will be honored.

  51. Everyone knows, apart from our political lords and masters, that commerce where no physical objects are exchanged leads without fail to fraud. If millions of tons of carbon “traded” are not to be FOB New York the whole system will be as honest as those plastic olive trees cultivated in Greece.

  52. Gary Turner (02:10:39) :

    How can there be a value added tax on something with no added value

    Fixed!

    DaveE.

  53. Hopefully we have reached the tipping point and the Cap and Trade Bill is dead on the launch pad……Just another wasteful tax ending up in the schisters hands!……Very ill conceived………John……

  54. The fact that AGW itself is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated, it can hardly come as a surprise that the only way carbon credits are being traded is by criminals who have been egged on by lucrative VAT carousels and other such loopholes to fraudulent easy money.

  55. Jacob Livingston (01:34:50) :

    It’s still a good idea but you guys just look for all of the negatives in every story :(

    Some people might call it using the Precautionary Principle, instead of meticulously avoiding it even when it hits you in the face.

    Otherwise, thanks to everyone for trying to explain carbon credits trade. I’ve been having a hard time understanding it, but probably only because it’s flat out crazy.

  56. AdderW (09:03:31) :

    Science must end climate confusion
    VIEWPOINT
    Richard Betts

    Climate scientists need to take more responsibility about how their work is presented to the public, suggests the Met Office’s Richard Betts. In this week’s Green Room, he says it is vital to prevent climate science being misunderstood or misused.
    —-
    Reply: Well, if that isn’t the kettle calling the fire black.

    Consider that statement against what we all know from the Hadley CRU and it really should be something that’s criminal. Climategate shows the best thing these “climate scientists” can do is go directly to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

  57. Ralph (04:04:19) :

    The Global Warming swindle is a governmental bubble too. If you really want to ‘follow the money’, it does not lead back to greedy oil companies, who are more than happy to invest in wind-power if there is money to be made there instead. No, the money trail leads back to the governments of this world.
    ——————–

    Well yes, and follow the money trail further and where does it lead:? To the international bankers. They are the people the politicians are really beholden to. Think Peter Mandelson (UK business secretary) going on holiday to the Corfu Rothschild retreat last summer, Charles Osborne and the Russian billionaire (yachtgate).

    Sorry, I didn’t read the whole post – yet. I find this an interesting thread
    because the carbon trading thing – I feel – focuses in one where the the whole problem is coming from: the people at the very top of the tree.

    So I’m not going to get upset about some opportunists getting 15% of what was 100% fraudulent to start with.

    I was thinking this is close to be a victimless crime. But then, the victims are the people who bought the carbon credits. Thing is, they will only pass the cost on to the energy-consumer/taxpayer, which is me and you.

    However, 90% of the market being occupied by hucksters means that the price was massively inflated, so it wouldn’t have had its value without all the fraudulent activity. Oh dear, sounds just like the ‘global financial crisis’ all over again.

    Why do we fall for this sh*t, time after time?

    I didn’t realise Edinburgh uni were doing a course on carbon trading and I didn’t know EU was Kyotoland for power stations. It’s worse than I thought!

  58. “We have dreamed down pirates,
    We have dreamed down kings,
    We have dreamed down wars,
    and the end of evil things.” (Unk.)

    Guess we need to open our eyes and wake up!

  59. Do they realize that by crying about “losing” tax revenues on the VAT….they’ve admitted that the whole carbon market was more about tax than the environment?

    There would have been no tax until the carbon credit VAT was invented. Just like the IRS here, they don’t make money unless money moves….whatever direction.

  60. DirkH (04:14:06) :

    [Quote] USA has a CO2 exchange where people MAY buy carbon permits to feel better. For instance Al Gore buys carbon permits voluntarily to compensate nature for his squandering of energy. As nobody is FORCED to buy them in the USA, these carbon permits have only a symbolic value.[Unquote]

    Then can I understand that the Chicago price reflects a NATURAL variability and the EU price an ANTHROPOGENIC variability?

  61. Dr A Burns (12:42:29) :

    Gangsters would see carbon trading as being much easier than drugs, gambling and prostitution.

    They could use something else. They had been switching over to sub-prime mortgage lending which was quite lucrative, but well, you know how that turned out.

    True story. I read about it in the autopsies after the crash.

  62. Nik (02:31:35) :

    CO2 is odorless, tasteless, invisible and undetectable to humans

    Nitpick: CO2 is not odorless, tasteless, or undetectable – it is only so at any realistic concentration that could be achieved in the Earth’s atmosphere. But try inhaling from a pure CO2 dispenser (I did it once as a result of my enquiring mind) and you’ll soon learn it smells and tastes (intolerable!). (More detail: the suffocation reflex kicks in big time and you exhale violently; after your autonomic systems allow you to stop gulping air, you notice that your mouth tastes acid – carbonated drinks on steroids!)

  63. I worked with pure CO2 as a welder (MIG) it does have a distinct smell, but I found it not unpleasant but just odd. I grant you that a welder is subject to so many olfactory assaults that CO2 may only seem innocuous.

  64. There might be global warming or cooling but the important issue is whether we, as a human race, can do anything about it.

    There are a host of porkies and not very much truth barraging us everyday so its difficult to know what to believe.

    I think I have simplified the issue in an entertaining way on my blog.

    http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

    Please feel welcome to visit and leave a comment.

    Cheers

    Roger

    PS In my country a porky is not a fat person but refers to a statement or assertion of gross falsehood or extreme exaggeration.

  65. PaulH (08:55:47) : Shayle Kann with some group called Greentech Media seems to think it’s a buyer’s market:

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/181985-carbon-credits-its-a-buyers-market

    Yeah, right!

    It is worth noting that “seekingalpha” is a decent stock trade oriented blog.
    It is also worth noting that the folks who post there are often just randoms who get a following, so you have to “consider the source”.

    Finally, I do have to stress that ANY trade may be for a matter of days or even just hours. If you don’t keep your “time frame” set, you can easily foul yourself up. (“Never let a trade become an investment”).

    So this guy might well be right, if his time scale for the trade is “days”, as the Copenhagen collapse might have lead to a short term (days) drop and those are typically followed by a similar rebound. (News driven event trades).

    That is dramatically different from expecting that anything other than “10 cents rebounding to 12 cents, be out by Friday” is going on. In other words, a TRADE site typically is not saying “buy some for your kids to retire on…”

    Heck, the stock of companies that have stated the intent to file bancruptcy still trades (often at the 10 cent to 5 cent range, sometimes less). On some days you can get 10% gain in a few hours (on others, 20% loss ;-) and I have traded them! (Bond holders often want to buy up the shares to assure enough stock votes for the BK and to make sure the bondholders get paid in BK without a stockholder fight… So you can buy at 8 cents when folks are dumping then resell at 10 cents to a bondholder when they show up at work ;-)

    Not an easy trade, and you don’t hold past the end of the day most days…

  66. Given that fact that the EU cannot even run itself, its own accounts not being signed off for the last 14 years, this hardly surprises. It would seem a truism that the bigger the bureaucracy the greater the potential gain for those with the nous to understand how to bend the rules. There is little doubt that widespread criminality is part and parcel of the EU’s activities, the primary beneficiaries of this are those who work for it. Needless to say this activity gains little publicity.

  67. Jacob Livingston (01:34:50) : It’s still a good idea but you guys just look for all of the negatives in every story :(
    I enjoyed the subtle humour in your line, Jacob. Nice!

  68. Black light feather says: “White men to approve cap&trade, then they will go up to inhabit the land of spirits and leave land for us to live”

  69. tallbloke (06:48:01) :

    ““Meanwhile here in the USA, carbon is trading for 10 cents a ton on the Chicago Carbon Exchange:”

    Excellent. I’ve just ordered 10,000 tons for early delivery to the Whitehouse doorstep. It’s a gift to the President. I hope he doesn’t get his fingers dirty moving it.”

    Reminds me of the Canadian that delivered a dump truck load of Bull Poo to the Canadian Parliament….HMMmm not a bad idea….

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