Surprise – UN Carbon Credits Being Abused

See related articles from the Guardian: Billions Wasted On UN Climate Programme and Discredited Strategy

“It looks like between one and two thirds of all the total CDM offsets do not represent actual emission cuts.” — David Victor, Stanford University and co-author of a study examining 3000 UN funded offset programs

This article below was reposted from TriplePundit

 

World’s Largest Carbon Market Facilitates Pollution

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An article in the Guardian newspaper reveals that billions worth of ‘clean’ investment on the world’s largest carbon offsets market ends up polluting the environment. The article cites researchers who’ve reviewed the participating companies in the Kyoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). They issued a report which seriously undermines the credibility of the CDM.

The CDM certificates facilitate the funding of clean technology investments by Third World companies that are expanding their operations. Western companies can buy the certificates to offset their own pollution. But it turns out that in reality most of the funds go to coal and oil companies, builders of destructive dams and other enterprises that are not green in the slightest.

The research that revealed the practices is of major importance not least because policymakers are set to review the CDM in the near future as the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. CDM credits are the world’s largest offset market, with annual trading last year totalling around EUR40 billion. Most credits are currently traded on the European Trading System (ETS) by European countries and companies but when the US starts to participate, something that’s more or less a given, trading will rise to over EUR 100 billion within two years easily.

The Stanford scholars opened a can of worms. They say that “Much of the market does not reflect actual reductions in emissions, and that trend is poised to get worse.” They researched more than 3,000 projects that had been applying/granted for up to $10bn of credits for the next four years and said that most of the applications should be rejected. If the scheme operated in any way realistically, we’d see a much smaller market, they say cautioning that there’s hardly enough clean air available for the demand that will build up in the near future. That’s rather an important point to consider ahead of next week’s Warner-Lieberman cap and trade bill which proposes US companies are allowed to buy up to 15% of their needed carbon credits from the (successor to the) CDM.

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41 thoughts on “Surprise – UN Carbon Credits Being Abused

  1. The UN is a graft distribution network. They collect tax money from a large number of wealthy states. Then corrupt leaders appoint their families and cronies to the UN who then distribute the money to their pals. It is an awesome gravy train to be on.
    But something else entirely dawned on me today:
    Rather than building models and attempting to forecast what the climate will do if you double CO2, why don’t they simply look back into time and see what the climate was when CO2 was twice as high as it is now? I mean, there IS an example in history of when CO2 was 2x, 3x, 4x … what it is now. There should be proxies that tell us with some reasonable level of accuracy what the past CO2 levels were and what the temperature was at the time. We don’t need new models, we should be able to find direct evidence.

  2. What’s the surprise? The UN had to figure out a way to make up for the loss of funding from the dismantling of the ‘Food for Oil’ program.

  3. Hang on! Has’nt the Stanford Programme on Energy and Sustainable Development received a $7.5 million grant from BP ?
    http:cesp.stanford.edu/news/1252/index.html
    Can we trust anything it says?
    (sarc. off)

  4. When you put the UN in charge of ANYTHING, you should expect fraud, waste and/or corruption. Every. Time. Period.
    This carbon trading scam is going to make “Oil for Food” look like a schoolyard shakedown for lunch money…

  5. Well shiver my timbers!
    Can’t believe this huge regulatory bureacratic scheme isn’t running efficiently. That’s got to be a first. Life never ceases to surprise me.

  6. SwampWoman took the words right out of my mouth. Who in their wildest dreams could imagine such a thing happening, especially with the UN involved.

  7. Kyoto was rigged to accelerate globalization. This is why the UNFCCC CDM system allows shoddy, 3rd-rate credits. There are 1st-rate “Gold Standard” credits, the 3rd-rate “Secondary” level credits fetch far less. Functionally corruption was expected and institutionalized: http://www.enn.com/top_stories/article/26102
    Kyoto allows for CDM to pay for “Clean Coal” in carbon credits: http://www.enn.com/energy/article/23060
    CDM also paying for ozone-destruction: http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSL137011320070813
    Also: http://www.globalissues.org/EnvIssues/GlobalWarming/Mechanisms.asp
    CDM useless to rural solar electrification:
    http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=40568
    So even were CO2 a serious problem the CDM projects don’t serve to slow CO2 emissions, and may in fact serve to increase CO2. While a firm in a developed firm can buy a license to emit CO2, firms in Kyoto developing nations can be paid to emit it.
    This is one more competitive advantage that favors firms in developing countries, furthering globalization (industry and job loss) as firms in Kyoto Annex I “developed” nations pay higher and higher carbon tax overheads that will not be incurred by firms in countries enjoying a Kyoto “developing nation” status.

  8. And of course typical of the Guardian, it refers to CO2 emissions as pollution. Anyone who calls the gas that virtually all life on earth depends on pollution should be sent back to school.

  9. Una Verità Inopportuna
    La Scala to stage Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Truth’
    MILAN, Italy (AP) — First it was the film and the book. Now the next stop for Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” is opera.
    La Scala officials say the Italian composer Giorgio Battistelli has been commissioned to produce an opera on the international multiformat hit for the 2011 season at the Milan opera house. The composer is currently artistic director of the Arena in Verona.

  10. It would be interesting to track the carbon credits Al Gore has purchased back to the projects they fund. I suspect he bought them through a some pooling mechanism like a mutual fund, so it may be impossible. Pity.
    This says Gore is carbon neutral thanks to buying carbon credits:
    http://www.nowpublic.com/al_gores_electric_bill_carbon_credits_and_a_lesson_in_economics
    This is titled “Carbon trading scams make mockery of climate change” from August 2007:
    http://www.tni.org/detail_page.phtml?act_id=17264

  11. Let’s not be so short-sighted kind people. “It is an ill-wind indeed that blows Nobody good!” Since this economic overpayment occurred in third world countries and for real power producers/users, the UN has inadvertantly funded human efforts at adapting to global warming (good) and not Kyoto mitigation (unknown good but expensive). Through this bait and switch, the UN is actually doing what the TAR and FAR indicate should be done…mitigation and adaptation. Rather than crumble to the on-slaught of “green” anger, they should claim credit for making sure that their proposed policies of mitigation and adaptation were followed. Remember you read it first on http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/ .

  12. Gore owns/runs a company that deals in carbon offsets. I think the UK has banned him from promoting it over there. How close is this to prosecutable fraud?
    Not that fraud and the U.N. are that far apart…

  13. Why don’t they just throw the money in the streets and why do they need somebody to waste tax payer money to study something that’s common knowledge. The world’s gone to hell because Gore has found a great way to make a couple billion in bogus carbon trading.

  14. It’s driving some stealth (and possibly dangerous) global experiments such as iron seeding and no till farming. Those are but two examples. There are many, many more. Whereas, with innate human activities for the past 10K years we were imparting unintended second order effects to the Earth, some possibly harmful, but more than likely, none of them truly catastrophic, now, there is an exponentially growing set of global terraengineering activities. In a short span of time we may well have a much larger (and potentially negative) impact, due to all the unintended consequences, than 10K years of gradual human development. In our utopian quest to “rise above” and “be kind(er) to Nature” we may well be unwittingly going up against Nature, which up until recently, we’ve been an undeniable part of.
    The Naked Ape starts to experience visions of grandeur, and tries to “manage” his own supposed “impacts on Nature” and thereby screws up Nature. And in the process, reverses his own development, growth and evolution. How sadly ironic.

  15. Of course, the whole carbon credits trading system is a scam all by itself. The fraud and abuse within the system simply make even more of a mockery of it. If there are any aliens out there watching us humans, they must be laughing their antennae off.

  16. Let’s not be so short-sighted kind people. “It is an ill-wind indeed that blows Nobody good!” Since this economic overpayment occurred in third world countries and for real power producers/users, the UN has inadvertantly funded human efforts at adapting to global warming (good) and not Kyoto mitigation (unknown good but expensive). Through this bait and switch, the UN is actually doing what the TAR and FAR indicate should be done…mitigation and adaptation. Rather than crumble to the on-slaught of “green” anger, they should claim credit for making sure that their proposed policies of mitigation and adaptation were followed. Remember you read it first on http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/ .

    There’s no need to adapt to global warming, since there’s practically no evidence it’s even happening, and if it did there’s even less evidence it would be a bad thing. There is plenty of evidence, however, that adapting to any upcoming ice age is an issue, since billions will inevitably die due to cold, the same way more people die during normal winter months than during the worst heat waves.

  17. The Money and Connections Behind Al Gore’s Carbon Crusade
    by Deborah Corey Barnes
    Posted: 10/03/2007
    Whatever its impact on the environment, the cap-and-trade carbon scheme is sure to boost the economic and political prospects of people and groups that are behind it. Before the company collapsed under the weight of financial scandal, Enron under CEO Ken Lay was a key proponent of the cap-and-trade idea. So was BP’s Lord John Browne, before he resigned last May under a cloud of personal scandal. In August 1997, Lay and Browne met with President Bill Clinton and Vice President Gore in the Oval Office to develop administration positions for the Kyoto negotiations that resulted in an international treaty to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
    Carbon offsets provide even more opportunities to cheat. For example, some aluminum companies claim they deserve credits just because they recycle aluminum for a living — recycling being less energy intensive and thus generally cheaper than making the stuff from scratch. The most popular activity for generating offsets is planting trees. But this method of storing carbon takes years and the long-term results are uncertain. If the trees die and decay, or are burned to clear land for agriculture, there is no net emission reduction. The net carbon reduction from tree planting may not materialize for decades, but the offsets are given out now.
    To critics on both the free-market right and the environmentalist left, carbon offsets are no more than a marketing gimmick. Some describe the fanciful device as akin to medieval indulgences that were sold in a cleric-run market to regulate the remission of sin.
    http://www.humanevents.com/artcle.php?id22663

  18. I do not think everyone should be so hard on the UN. After all, they have been duly elected by the people of Earth in an open and verified world wide election.
    They have taken an oath of service for our benefit. We should be greatful for their efforts and sacrifice on our behalf. They are all truly humble servants to all mankind.

  19. I must be really smart, because I managed to figure out all on my lonesome that buying “offsets” for polluting could quite possibly increase (or at least no decrease) pollution. :shrug:

  20. crosspatch Rather than building models and attempting to forecast what the climate will do if you double CO2, why don’t they simply look back into time…
    Memory says this has been done, and done again, but discounted because it ran against the current agenda. Same with C02 following, not leading, warming.

  21. SteveSadlov: What’s the problem with no-till farming? As I understand it (from a Permculture course a while back) it’s a localised practice that conserves moisture and soils – not something you’d mention in the same breath as massive chemical intervention in the oceans.

  22. One third to two thirds being abused?
    Wow.
    That’s ‘WAY better than average for th UN!
    <cite<But it turns out that in reality most of the funds go to coal and oil companies,
    So it turns out that the way to save the oil companies is to get the UN to declare ware on them. (Well, it makes perfect sense, come to think of it.) I wish I had thought of that!
    If the scheme operated in any way realistically, we’d see a much smaller market, they say cautioning that there’s hardly enough clean air available for the demand that will build up in the near future.
    Gosh, when I was yammering on about how they were plotting strangle the golden goose, I thought I was speaking figuratively,

  23. The UN had to figure out a way to make up for the loss of funding from the dismantling of the ‘Food for Oil’ program.
    Jacques! Jacques! Jacques Chriac!
    How Many Kids Did You Starve In Iraq?

  24. old construction worker:
    It’s a gold rush.
    If everything causes global warming, then everybody’s entitled to selling carbon credits.
    So I guess that means that people who lose weight could sell carbon credits, people who burn trees making biochar (a carbon-absorbing anaerobic catalysis charcoal process) could sell carbon credits, and and car restorers could sell carbon credits (hey, all that manufacturing energy is being sequestered into a cool old ride) … gosh, there must be a long list of human activities that would bring entitlement!
    Heck people who commit suicide or mass murder could sell carbon credits. The next Pol Pot could be a CO2 superstar!

  25. Tom in Florida, re: the U.N.:

    They have taken an oath of service for our benefit. We should be greatful for their efforts and sacrifice on our behalf. They are all truly humble servants to all mankind.

    Um. The U.N.? That despot’s club composed of murderous and loathsome regimes intent on deception and cheating? The organization that sat Libya to oversee the human rights commission? The organization that routinely condemns Israel but has yet to condemn Sudan? The organization that never saw an ongoing genocide it never saw? The organization that missed the nuclear activities in N. Korea, demonstrated perfect obsequity to the ongoing deceptions of the Persians, forgot about both Saddam’s & Milosovic’s 150 kilos (each) of eU232 and other errant WMDs in Iraq (like the unknown number of chemical artillery shells labeled as conventional ones) and generally serves as a conduit of money to unethical opportunists?

  26. Tom in Florida wrote: “I do not think everyone should be so hard on the UN. After all, they have been duly elected by the people of Earth in an open and verified world wide election.”
    Tom, you are jesting, of course! The UN delegates, etc., are appointed by their respective governments. The bureaucrats that “serve” under them are simply a ragged bunch of relatives and other political parasites feeding at the trough. The committees and other such “fact finding bodies” are generally related to the “diplomats” and “delegates,” and once again are generally nothing more than parasites and misfits.
    I’m not too certain what’s in the water you’re drinking, but Cutty Sark would be much better… straight or on the rocks.
    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  27. I have quite a few new maple trees in my yard (I do every Spring because of the mature maple trees I already have there). Can I sell carbon credits for the CO2 they are using up? Sounds like a great way to make money by doing nothing.

  28. leebert and McGrats:
    Come on guys (or gals). Are you kidding me? “duly elected by the people of Earth in an open and verified world wide election” Of course I was jesting!! That was the point, none of them are elected by any of us to do anything for us. So why do we even give a sh.. about what they say? If I were in a position to do so, I would pull the US out of the UN and ignore them. I would close down the UN building in NY, never put another dime into it, send them all to France and let them squel and shout all they want. I would encourage England, Austraila and Japan to do the same and then watch that organization cave in on itself.

  29. Tom in Fla…. sorry, I’m irony impaired as of late. Plus you forgot to put a smiley or some other hint. We get some really nuts here, didn’t know your byline.
    As for the NYC UN building, tough choice. Seal all of them in? Let them all implode in Brussels along with the EU? Or should we keep them close to us where we can watch them better?
    Tough call.

  30. Thanks, Aileni Noyle, for that typically ridiculous pro-AGW link. Something to laugh at:

    US firm Climos plans to seed the ocean with iron particles. This will encourage the development of phytoplankton, it says, which carry large amounts of carbon to the ocean floor when they die. The company hopes to turn a profit by selling carbon credits.

    Last sentence says it all.

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