Outdated carbon credits from old wind and solar farms are threatening climate change efforts

Mark Maslin, UCL and Simon Lewis, UCL

French global energy giant Total recently announced it had delivered its first shipment of “carbon neutral liquid natural gas”. Natural gas is, of course, a fossil fuel and so can’t itself be carbon neutral. Instead, emissions from transporting the cargo were partly “offset” by investing in a wind farm in China.

But here’s the problem: that wind farm has been operating since 2011 and has already issued more than 2 million tonnes of these so-called “carbon credits”. A project like this clearly happened nine years ago without the additional funding from selling credits to Total, so it is highly unlikely that the recent purchases resulted in additional removal of carbon from the atmosphere.

These kinds of projects are why many scientists and environmentalists remain sceptical of companies buying credits to reduce emissions elsewhere in the world instead of reducing emissions themselves. This is why Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of England, has set up a private sector taskforce to establish a “credible” carbon offsetting market in 2021 so buyers can have confidence that their investments really will remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

We teamed up with climate data analysts at Trove Research to feed into Carney’s taskforce. Our new report shows that the market already contains hundreds of millions of tonnes of poor quality credits. If changes are not made the market could be flooded with them, resulting companies paying money, but failing to meaningfully reduce carbon dioxide emissions. New rules are needed to exclude older credits from the market.

Why the carbon market is growing

More than 1,000 firms across the world have made pledges to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. Many have pledged to go even further. For example, Microsoft has an ambitious target to go carbon negative by 2030. By 2050 it wants to remove all the carbon pollution from the atmosphere that the company and its supply chain have emitted since it was founded in 1975.

At least 15 airlines including EasyJet, British Airways and Emirates have announced major carbon offset schemes. Even BP has declared that it will be carbon neutral by 2050 by eliminating or offsetting over 415 million tons of carbon emissions (although the devil is always in the detail).

Companies need to get their emissions down fast, but getting to absolute zero is hard. Some companies are committed to reducing their emissions and use carbon offset credits to lower their effective emissions by investing in projects around the world that reduce emissions elsewhere or that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

These projects include wind or solar farms, planting and growing new forests or protecting existing forests. But some companies could be investing in the very cheapest available credits, with little regard to their credibility, simply to launder their reputations as “green”.

The integrity of the carbon offset concept relies wholly on additionality – whether the money paid for the offsets is actually used to reduce emissions or capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere that would not have happened otherwise. Our report found some worrying problems with a significant reserve supply of old, poor quality carbon credits.

Old carbon credits could swamp the market

The carbon offset market looks set to grow: our report projects that by 2050 the carbon offsets market will probably be worth more than US$90 billion (£67 billion) and maybe as much as US$480 billion – at least a 200-fold increase on the US$0.4bn spent in 2020.

The bad news is that the expansion may not actually reduce emissions because, at the moment, 600 million to 700 million tonnes of old carbon credits could be claimed in the carbon offset market – seven to eight times the current annual demand. Were these all to be claimed it would swamp the market, meaning companies buying cheap credits from projects with little or no additionality, and so little or no climate benefit.

Graph showing significant annual rise in carbon credit surplus since 2004, explained in caption.
More carbon offsets are available than have been purchased, leading to a big ‘surplus’ (in grey, million of tonnes of CO₂ equivalent). The surplus is getting bigger every year as the retirement and cancelling of offsets (red line) is not keeping up with the oversupply. To remove the surplus and make offsetting more effective we’ll have to retire lots more old renewable energy offsets. Trove / UCL, Author provided

The situation could be even worse – as lead author of the study Guy Turner points out – if old carbon credits from the past ten years of the UN Clean Development Mechanism are allowed. This would produce an additional 7,000 million tonnes of carbon dioxide representing 50 to 60 times current annual demand. If allowed into the voluntary market these CDM credits would effectively make the voluntary market redundant as a mechanism for reducing global carbon emissions.

This means companies, including world leading consumer brands, could unwittingly be claiming carbon offset credits for projects that have been operational for several years, and were approved under previous, less stringent conditions. As in the case of Total and the Chinese wind farms, this would effectively mean their carbon offsets would create no new removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

The study is not all doom and gloom. We’ve also presented the Mark Carney taskforce with a number of ways to make the carbon market actually reduce emissions. The world needs an independent international body to oversee and carefully regulate the market. This would have to ensure the registries of verified carbon credits only hold high quality projects. Finally buyers need to be empowered to demand credits that will clearly make a real difference.

Companies need to reduce their own emissions first, but there are currently few alternatives to fossil fuels for some uses – for example, the transport of goods by sea or air. Hence carbon offsets can be justified if they are part of a portfolio of measures to get emissions to zero and stabilise Earth’s climate. Yet, cleaning up and tightly regulating the voluntary carbon market is needed to ensure that real emission reductions are achieved.


Total did not respond to The Conversation’s request for comment.

Mark Maslin, Professor of Earth System Science, UCL and Simon Lewis, Professor of Global Change Science at University of Leeds and, UCL

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

3.5 10 votes
Article Rating
79 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Zig Zag Wanderer
January 17, 2021 6:21 pm

How is China supposed to leech more money from developed nations if it can’t sell Carbon Credits repeatedly for the same wind farms? Be reasonable!

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 17, 2021 9:31 pm

Hey, during the “ozone holes are gonna kill us all” era, when CFCs were the topic du jour, China contracted (at great expense) to destroy the world’s CFCs. Then they turned around and resold them to the third world, thirsty for cheap refrigerants.

Last edited 6 months ago by Rory Forbes
Curious George
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 18, 2021 7:54 am

Shouldn’t all colleges teach Creative Accounting?

Shanghai Dan
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 18, 2021 9:06 am

Fractional reserve works for banking, so why not for climate credits?

/sarc

Joel O'Bryan
January 17, 2021 6:22 pm

I and others don’t call it the Climate Scam for no good reason.

Richard Page
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 18, 2021 4:26 am

Yup. It seems that all you need to do these days is put ‘Green’ in front of something and no criminal or dodgy activity can ever be associated with it. If this were another plan, in say the banking sector, how long would it last before the principal players were arrested for setting up a ponzi scheme. It’s just insanity.

Last edited 6 months ago by Richard Page
very old white guy
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 18, 2021 5:19 am

What’s that old line, “there’s one born every minute”.?

Pauleta
January 17, 2021 6:28 pm

I have a wind farm to sell if anyone interested.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Pauleta
January 17, 2021 7:11 pm

It’s the tax credits that are valuable. The public thinks wind farms are designed to harvest wind power, but in reality they are built to harvest tax credits.
Not a single wind or solar farm would’ve been built in the US at commercial scale without those credits from the Federal government courtesy of the US Congress.

So unless you’ve got a boatload of credits to sell with the wind farm, it is worthless to those who know what is going on.

Last edited 6 months ago by joelobryan
John F Hultquist
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 17, 2021 8:01 pm

harvest tax credits “

That’s why they can be called farms.
The crop is other people’s money.

Pauleta
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 17, 2021 10:51 pm

Did I mention that my farm powers a local laundromat? We wa$h and clean anything you want.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Pauleta
January 18, 2021 8:51 am

Pauleta,
Do you have the capacity in your laundromat to launder all of Hunter’s and the Biden Crime Family’s illgotten gains? Just asking for a friend!

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 19, 2021 6:56 am

The proper way to refer to wind farms and solar farms and solar “plants” is “Mandate, subsidy and tax credit farming.”

Rhs
January 17, 2021 6:30 pm

Just wait until they realize that more CO2 is between out than we put in. And the atmospheric concentration still grows!

AndyHce
Reply to  Rhs
January 17, 2021 10:25 pm

Who is this “THEY” that is still ignorant?

Gregory Woods
Reply to  AndyHce
January 18, 2021 2:34 am

‘They’ – you know who, THEY…

Abolition Man
Reply to  Gregory Woods
January 18, 2021 8:54 am

Thank God it isn’t Them! We’d need a bigger can of bug spray if it were!

Reply to  AndyHce
January 18, 2021 3:17 am

Well, “they” is what paranoid conspiratists call their imagined bogeymen that wishes to “rule all nations with an iron rod”. Easily confused with the “they” as in “government agencies stealing vulnerable children for sex parties? Can’t be, THEY wouldn’t allow it”. Further details on semantics for paranoiacs here:
https://greenpets.co.za/index.php/en/paranoid-goy/84-lexicon

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  paranoid goy
January 18, 2021 1:58 pm

Paranoid? Anyone who isn’t paranoid today just hasn’t been paying attention!

Rhs
Reply to  AndyHce
January 18, 2021 8:04 am

The kool-aid drinkers…

Derg
Reply to  Rhs
January 18, 2021 2:53 am

Is it bad that the concentration grows?

very old white guy
Reply to  Derg
January 18, 2021 5:20 am

No.

Bryan A
Reply to  Derg
January 18, 2021 4:16 pm

I thought it was a lack of concentration that lead tho these predicaments
Too Dilauded

Scissor
January 17, 2021 7:06 pm

I didn’t get to fly to Asia this past year. Shouldn’t I get some kind of carbon credit for that?

I could sell it to an airline in exchange for a flight.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Scissor
January 17, 2021 7:15 pm

Consider yourself lucky. There were boatloads of Westerners who got stranded in Asia in expensive hotels when international travel shutdown last February and March.
Use the money you saved and go to Disney World Florida.

Richard Page
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 18, 2021 4:15 am

Hang on. I didn’t fly to either Asia or Disneyworld Florida. If I don’t fly to any destination in a year, can I get me some of them credits as well? How many if I promise not to fly anywhere for the next 5 years?

Peter W
Reply to  Richard Page
January 18, 2021 4:20 am

We now live about an hour from Disneyworld, Florida. Can we get carbon credits for visiting there since we don’t have to fly?

Bryan A
Reply to  Peter W
January 18, 2021 4:17 pm

Only if you walk there… And bag up any invasive Python you come across

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Richard Page
January 18, 2021 9:35 am

I’m interested in this myself. There are many places I would promise not to fly to, if I got paid to do so.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 18, 2021 8:35 am

Don’t support Disney! They’re a big part of the DIE (diversity,inclusion, equity) cult that is programming our kids with the the fascist/racist agenda we see exploding before our eyes! Walt must be revolving at about 9,000rpm by now with the travesty that’s being made of his great legacy!

CD in Wisconsin
January 17, 2021 7:09 pm

Fools and their money…….

Latitude
January 17, 2021 7:12 pm

Has anyone else noticed that the rate of CO2 increasing has not changed one bit?

…and that since the UN/IPCC was formed…China has increased it’s emissions 5 times more?

and the USA didn’t….our emissions are almost exactly where they were 30 years ago

…they not going to go for the CO2 is not the problem thing…kick them in the teeth with their own facts

TomO
January 17, 2021 7:13 pm

“The Conversation” is peculation on stilts

– “it’s all academic now” comes to mind ….

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  TomO
January 19, 2021 6:58 am

The best description of “The Conversation” is “The Monologue.”

Editor
January 17, 2021 7:18 pm

The best description of “offsets” is where we hold a big party at your house and trash the place.

So to offset that, we do a total top-to-bottom cleaning of my house.

w.

n.n
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 17, 2021 8:53 pm

Yes, the very model of social justice. Truly forward-thinking. Will there be a vegan roast?

Mr.
Reply to  n.n
January 17, 2021 9:12 pm

who’d want to eat a roasted vegan?
he/she/ze would be drier than a dingo’s donger.
fat is what gives meat flavor.

Mariner
Reply to  Mr.
January 17, 2021 9:58 pm

Having just had a heart attack I a believe I now have to try a dingo’s donger.
🙁

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Mariner
January 18, 2021 1:02 am

You’re stressed?

Think of the poor dingo! Having to go and find somewhere else to live on short notice.

Ummm… Dongers are still those little rooms you live in when you work in the mining industry, right??

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Craig from Oz
January 18, 2021 5:33 am

Uhhhhh, nooooooo…

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 18, 2021 1:04 am

You’re description is a lot more family friendly.

The one I tend to use is that murdering someone is okay as long as you also get ‘sexy’ with two or more chicks.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 18, 2021 8:43 am

I’m very sorry, Willis, but as an old, white, cis-gendered male you do not qualify for getting your house cleaned! Now that I self-identify as a Native American lesbian woman I do qualify for it, as well as being incarcerated in women’s criminal facilities if I am arrested for my incorrect and blasphemous thoughts and feelings!

Mr. Lee
January 17, 2021 7:31 pm

The titles say it all:
Professor of Earth System Science
Professor of Global Change

Getting paid by the public to create propaganda to delude the public. Genius.

John F Hultquist
January 17, 2021 8:15 pm

I’ll happily plant Ponderosa Pines.
How much can I get per tree?
They almost always grow here. There’s that.
I could plant Palms. I could use the same spaces,
year after year, and save a lot of work.
Does anyone check on such things?

n.n
Reply to  John F Hultquist
January 17, 2021 8:49 pm

Don’t be so green. Today, green is out, and Green is in. That’s where you harvest the greenbacks.

Abolition Man
Reply to  John F Hultquist
January 18, 2021 9:01 am

John,
Shouldn’t you be planting Jeffrey pines instead? After all, they are the California version of the Ponderosa and are a distinct minority! That should make them much more PC, whether they survive or thrive is not important!

January 17, 2021 8:27 pm

Major International Firms of all sorts buying so-called carbon (dioxide) offset credits in various schemes are not different to Ponzi Schemes and Scams that drain all societies money,, replacing good money with bad. The Covid-19 Shutdown showed that reduced industrial CO2 has no effect of World Co2 level rate of increase and is irrelevant. This is money for nothing.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
January 18, 2021 11:04 am

OK, but the real question is: Do they get their chicks for free?
/mega-sarc

Bryan A
Reply to  Paul Penrose
January 18, 2021 4:21 pm

Now we’re really getting into Dire Straits

Steve Case
January 17, 2021 8:37 pm

This whole scam is somewhere tulip mania and counting angels dancing on the head of a pin.

Peta of Newark
January 17, 2021 8:43 pm

Cannot put a finger on exactly why, but this whole thing just gives me really bad brain-ache.

Its obviously a Total Scam. A massively contrived complication that is a huge environmental negative while claiming to do The Exact Opposite.

They’re creating what they call ‘value’ out of, literally, thin air
No no no. There are no Free Lunches.
The money they’re circulating was created in their own heads by their own self-declared virtue.
But said virtue goes straight down the pan as they take a genorous slice off it every time it passes across their desks. That is, has got to be, Real Money coming from somewhere.
Somewhere being the Little People in the places they think they are protecting.
From a quite imaginary threat – CO2
But those little people have to work their butts off to create it while their local environment is trashed in doing so.
THEN, totally hideous, professors of Grievance Studies such as the Lewis joker ## want to imagine that these little People are then leading ‘fulfilled lives’

## From my old (university) school at Leeds. I really do feel nauseous just thinking about it

That Lewis claims and seriously actually believes, that Little People in faraway places doing his bidding, so he can lead a fulfilled life. For them as well as he himself

Yet his life is quite obviously perfectly dysfunctional. Along with 189 more Climate Researchers in that department at Leeds. That he spends his day and gets his rocks off getting worried about these Little People in faraway places. **
No.

** Is that what Climate Research is? Spending your time (on your student’s dime) feeling guilty, wringing your hands, reading & obsessing about The Grauniad/BBC and indulging in (fake/hypocritical) Puritanism – while contriving ways to use Other People (your own students initially) to pay (++) you to try get you out of a hole you dug yourself and willingly jumped into
Massively worse, actually thinks/believes that ‘money’ will do so. That money = fulfilment.

++ Not necessarily money. Their time, back breaking effort, local natural resources etc etc

And we all know, there is never, will never be, ever ever ever enough money to do so.
Never
He’s at the bottom of a very deep and horrible hole and wants to drag as many other people in there with him, in the sure & certain knowledge that that will be ‘fulfilling for them as well as him. He actually thinks that getting into that hole is fulfilling in itself.

Thus a complete captive of his own magical thinking- thus chronically depressed and thus quite completely paranoid.
He is scared shitless by these little people in faraway places and the only way he can see of relieving his own self-inflicted pain, is to control those people

It is so perfectly completely utterly hideous what’s going on here.
Every atrocity that has ever been committed by any human against any other individual or group has been powered by magical (i.e. Dysfunctional) thinking

No.
The Human Animal is ‘fulfilled’ by one very simple basic and primal need
The production of healthy and well adjusted, in every sense, Children
If they can manage that, by definition all else they need must have been in place/available.
period.

See now where all the babies have gone………….

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 17, 2021 8:59 pm

I latched onto ‘fulfilment‘ bit from Lewis’ bio at The Conversation
(Show me pictures or it didn’t happen)
Quote:
“”Simon is a plant ecologist by training with a central focus on the tropics and global environmental change including climate change. His primary interest is in how humans are changing the Earth as a system. This is because one of the key issues facing humanity in the 21st century will be to address how a population of at least 8 billion can lead fulfilled lives without breaching environmental thresholds that may cause serious social, economic and environmental disruption, or even more severe outcomes.””

“”or even more severe outcomes.””

Does he mean that The Emperor might die ## from Covid perchance?
Or what is he moaning on about in there

## The very worst thing that could happen actually would be the Emperor’s Expiry – wouldn’t it just?
They’d have nothing left to talk about. Their science would die along with the hapless Emperor
ha ha ha

Last edited 6 months ago by Peta of Newark
Patrick MJD
January 17, 2021 10:52 pm

With all SC@MS, they do grow especially when there is free Govn’t money to be had. After all one of the biggest SC@MMERS, Al Gore, was involved.

John Pickens
January 17, 2021 11:49 pm

Is there anyone pushing these carbon schemes who has any inkling of economics? By increasing the cost of energy, you raise the cost of all goods, which ripples through the economy. It takes more money to purchase everything, and more individual hours of labor are required to pay for the cost of living. Each man-hour of additional labor has an energy cost i.e. more food to feed the manual laborer who has to work more hours, more fuel to power the trucks and equipment needed to work longer to earn enough to offset increased prices.

In addition, at some point the increased energy cost will make some manufactured goods uneconomic to produce, like aluminum in Australia.

In every case, the carbon offsets will result in an extremely regressive taxation of the poor, as their fraction of income devoted to paying for higher priced energy and goods will be far higher than the wealthy.

I wonder how long it will take the low income population to realize that they are paying an additional $10-$20 per month for electricity and fuel which goes directly into the pockets of wealthy investors who are gaming this system.

Reply to  John Pickens
January 18, 2021 3:40 am

So, you accuse them of not knowing nothing about economics, then you spend ten minutes detailing how they manipulate the economy to skim off unearned profits?
Internal consistency of argument is a worthwhile persuit, brother.

John Pickens
Reply to  paranoid goy
January 18, 2021 5:02 am

I see what you’re getting at, but the vast, vast majority of those clamoring for carbon taxes believe these programs will reduce atmospheric CO2. It is a very small number of investors who are doing the profit skimming. One statistic I read is that in New Jersey, for instance, the top 10 recipients of solar phovoltaic subsidy money receive over 60% of that money.

David A
Reply to  John Pickens
January 18, 2021 12:52 pm

Paranoid guy does not understand you are correct. The economy they know about is their own wallet. They neither know or care about the health of the general economy, locally, nationally, or internationally.

Redge
January 17, 2021 11:52 pm

the market already contains hundreds of millions of tonnes of poor quality credits

How does something that in reality doesn’t exist weigh so much?

Last edited 6 months ago by Redge
Lrp
January 18, 2021 12:53 am

Carbon credits inflation. Who would have thought that’s possible

Ivor Ward
January 18, 2021 1:02 am

“…This means companies, including world leading consumer brands, could unwittingly be claiming carbon offset credits for projects that have been operational for several years,…”

I like the use of the word, “unwittingly”

Yeah right!

Clarky of Oz
January 18, 2021 1:05 am

.I have a perfectly good bridge to sell.

Send me $100,000,000 and I will tell you where you can pick it up

saveenergy
Reply to  Clarky of Oz
January 18, 2021 3:34 am

Done !
do you do pay-pal ?

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  saveenergy
January 18, 2021 2:14 pm

BitCoin! This one has to be in BitCoin!

Bryan A
Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
January 18, 2021 8:58 pm

I could trade you some Carbon Credits for the title

Flight Level
January 18, 2021 1:49 am

Close your eyes. Concentrate. Say “Carbon Credits”.

All of a sudden a different world appears. Where logic, any logic, has been subdued by totalitarian organized crime.

Open your eyes. It’s not only a mental exercise. It’s real and getting worse each passing day.

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  Flight Level
January 18, 2021 2:16 pm

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. For the next hour we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to the outer limits.

Gregory Woods
January 18, 2021 2:31 am

and talking about scams…

Mickey Reno
January 18, 2021 6:07 am

When piglets are not allowed their time at the teat, they become runts, or die of starvation. Poor little piglets, being pushed away from the teat by heartless bastards who want to keep their own money…

George Daddis
January 18, 2021 6:10 am

In this topsy turvy world investing in China is considered “virtuous”.

“Hence carbon offsets can be justified if ….”

“Buying credits” does absolutely nothing in the real world, and thus they are never justified.

MDN
January 18, 2021 9:17 am

So a former governor of the Bank of England wants to develop a conscientious carbon trading fund so that investors “will know that they are really removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere?” Well if that is the objective then just invest in natural gas instead as it PROVABLY DOES reduce greenhouse gases on an industrial scale. For that proof simply witness the U.S. performance on this metric due to fracking and our massive transition to natural gas from coal and oil.

Why is it that presumably smart people cannot see and accept practical good solutions to achieve their claimed objective vs. holding out in a futile quest for utopian unicorn flatulence?

Thinking people want to know.

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  MDN
January 18, 2021 2:18 pm

Well if that is the objective then just invest in natural gas instead…

…or better yet, NUCLEAR!

Tom Abbott
January 18, 2021 9:31 am

This carbon dioxide scheme is just fraud waiting to happen. Buyer beware.

And of course, there is the little matter that there is no evidence that shows CO2 needs to be reduced in the first place.

Beta Blocker
January 18, 2021 9:46 am

Suppose those governments which have signed on to the Paris Climate Agreement decide they need to establish a worldwide system for the trading of carbon credits.

Within such a worldwide system, the value of a carbon credit can rise or fall; it can be exchanged and traded for real currency; and it can support the mining of carbon credits for profit in the same way bitcoins are now being mined. 

And last, but most important, the system can largely decouple the value of a carbon credit from the tonnes of carbon emissions which are actually being produced. 

The solution to this need might be to create a government-sanctioned equivalent of bitcoin for the carbon credit trading market — the carbcoin — a carbon emission currency of sorts. 

This is how a carbcoin-based equivalent of a bitcoin might work. 

At the very outset, based upon a pre-established valuation criteria, the carbon trading market value of all existing zero-carbon energy facilities on earth might be assigned in the form of X number of carbcoins pegged at Y initial value as stated in US Dollars.

Throughout its operational life, each zero-carbon energy facility carries the same number of carbcoins originally assigned to it. As long as that facility remains in operation and is in conformance with the criteria under which its carbcoin assignment was first established, it keeps that initial facility-specific carbcoin allotment.

New zero-carbon energy facilities, and qualifying upgrades to existing zero-carbon energy facilities, are assigned their own initial allotment of carbcoins. Once assigned, the value of these carbcoins rises or falls depending upon the current market conditions for carbon credits.

The ownership of an individual carbcoin after its initilal issuance changes hands as best suits the financial interests of both buyers and sellers.

Who ‘owns’ the carbcoins initially assigned to any given zero carbon energy facility?

At initial assignment, ownership of two-thirds of the carbcoins might be held by the private or public corporations which own and operate the energy production facilities. One-third might be held by the government of the nation in which the zero-carbon facility operates. After initial assignment, the carbcoins are bought and sold under whatever market conditions then exist within the carbon credit trading markets.

How does carbcoin work in practice?

For example, if you are an airline and you want to continue flying your jet powered airliners, you buy that number of carbcoins you think will balance the carbon trading value of the jet fuel your airline consumes. The number you buy or sell at the current market price being consistent with your profit making objectives. The airline services consumer will pay for any increases in airline ticket prices which result.

For another example, if you are an oil & gas company, and you want to continue producing oil & gas, you buy or sell that number of carbcoins you think will balance the carbon trading value of the carbon fuels you produce — the number you buy at the current price being consistent with your profit making objectives. The oil & gas consumer will pay for any increases in fuel prices which subsequently result.

As a private or a public corporation engaged in the business of producing electrical energy, do you choose to invest in a fossil fuel facility of some kind — coal, gas-fired, etc. — or do you instead choose to invest in a wind, solar, or nuclear facility? (Assuming that nuclear is a qualifying zero carbon option under the carbcoin scheme.)

Under a carbcoin system, the type of energy production facility you choose to invest in will depend in part on your estimate of the future price of a carbcoin. The number you buy or sell over the life of the facility being consistent with your profit making objectives. In any case, the energy consumer will pay for any increases in energy prices which subsequently result.

Is the concept of a carbcoin-based carbon credit trading system diabolical in the extreme?

Of course it is. The price of all forms of energy could double or triple under this scheme. Governments and corporations alike could rake in huge amounts of cash from its operation. That’s why a good number of government functionaries are probably thinking about creating something like a carbcoin system even as we speak.

Ferdberple
January 18, 2021 10:25 am

‘Green’ products work using the same principles as ‘Lite’ products.

Both are based on the ‘fishing lure’ principle. Fishing lures are designed to catch the money in your wallet. The ability to also catch fish is a secondary byproduct.

Perhaps the biggest part of this scam is REDD+. The biggest land grab ever, all in the name of saving the planet.

Fran
January 18, 2021 11:15 am

For little eco wariers, the equivalent of carbon credits is recycling every little bit of plastic and buying organic ‘food’. Some of them boast they get their organic milk in glass bottles.

These actions permit them to fly whenever they get the urge. Another way to get credit to fly is to get an EV for your second vehicle.

January 18, 2021 12:42 pm

I’d like to suggest giving some sort of carbon offset value to bonds for financing nuclear plants. There might not be any immediate carbon cutting results (as if there’s all that much significant results now), but there would be great long term potential which is the way CO2 should be looked at if it is indeed a problem.

PaulH
January 18, 2021 1:20 pm

Is the issuing of carbon credits regulated? Or can any issuing body simply print and sell as many carbon credits as they want?

Andre Thomas Lewis
January 18, 2021 4:32 pm

You do not have to be a scientist to see that carbon credits are the world’s biggest financial scam.

Ian W
January 19, 2021 9:22 am

This makes as much sense as sin-eating

Especially when you consider that wind farms need huge investments in base load power from non-unreliables to make the parts build them and connect them with high tension power lines to the grids. It is unlikely that the windfarm will ‘pay back’ the ‘carbon’ generated in its manufacture in its surprisingly short useful life.

(Not that CO2 is a real problem but using alarmist arguments against them)

%d bloggers like this: