A carbon credit forest in Papua New Guinea. The villagers admit they called in the loggers, but claim it is because they weren't payed the money they expected from the carbon farmers. Source Four Corners.

“Carbon Colonialism”: Four Corners Exposes Alleged Carbon Farming Exploitation in New Guinea

Essay by Eric Worrall

Four Corners: “… US regulators took civil action … Strauss repeatedly and knowingly and/or recklessly defrauded investors by disseminating false and misleading information. …”.

If the video above doesn’t work, click the original link to view the video. The original link also has a full transcript of the video. The video is also available on youtube.

Also from the Aussie ABC (which produces Four Corners);

Carbon colonialism

By Stephen LongMeghna Bali, and Max Murch

Four Corners
Updated 14 Feb 2023, 12:13pm
Published 14 Feb 2023, 4:47am

The south-western shores of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, are fringed by pristine rainforest.

An American company called NIHT Inc has partnered with local people here to put an end to deforestation in the region.

NIHT stands for “New Ireland Hardwood Timber”, and as the name implies, it started out as a timber company with its own plans to cut down the rainforests.

It shifted instead to preserving the trees and turning the carbon within them into an asset.

Businesses in Australia have been enthusiastic customers of NIHT Inc.

The Sydney Opera House, Planet Ark, Nespresso, the law firms Gilbert + Tobin, and Corrs Chambers Westgarth, and Active Super are among its clients.

They’ve been buying carbon credits from the NIHT project to offset their greenhouse gas emissions. And the pitch is attractive, with NIHT promising to stop “exploitative commercial timber harvesting in the project area” and to “alleviate the impact of poverty”.

But there’s a gap between the NIHT marketing and reality.

Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-02-14/carbon-credits-projects-papua-new-guinea-logging-four-corners/101936714

ABC Four Corners claims Stephen Strauss, CEO of NIHT, was once sued by US regulators. From the documentary: “… US regulators took civil action … Strauss repeatedly and knowingly and/or recklessly defrauded investors by disseminating false and misleading information. …”.

I tried to find the court case. There are a few cases which might be the lawsuit ABC Four Corners are talking about, but unfortunately the ABC did not provide enough information to identify the exact case.

You would imagine given the extent of alleged wrongdoing, the ABC would be within its right to question the very existence of the carbon credit industry. Instead, the documentary sadly takes the view that the carbon credit industry needs to be cleaned up rather than discarded.

Having said this, the documentary is a surprisingly watchable. It focusses on allegations of legally unsophisticated tribal groups being deceived into signing complex carbon farming contracts with clauses allowing unlimited expenses deductions for the other party, allegations impoverished natives were denied the profits they were promised, allegations of misrepresentation, and various characters whom the ABC appears to accuse of exploiting both the natives and well intentioned Australian companies seeking to purchase carbon offsets for their Aussie business activities.

The one group the program doesn’t try to expose is the politicians who made it possible for this alleged exploitation to continue for such a prolonged period. 19th century colonial abuses could never have happened without cooperation between European leaders, exploiters and corrupt local leaders, so I can’t help wondering if the same is true in today’s PNG. As I watched the professions of innocence and helplessness, for some reason I kept thinking, people aren’t always who they claim to be, especially in a place as allegedly corrupt as Papua New Guinea.

Of course, I’m sure all the politicians interviewed by the Four Corners reporters are as blameless and innocent as they claim to be.

One more thing I’d like to add. Stephen Strauss, if the ABC got their facts wrong, please contact WUWT and present your side of the story.

Update (EW): Added the youtube link to the video.

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February 14, 2023 4:40 am

Enough of the Carbon bollox, please.

Because, at the end of the day, that’s exactly what it is.

“Perhaps the clearest sign that the UK government has no intention of actually securing a steady supply of energy can be seen in its willingness to embrace rationing.”


Last edited 1 month ago by strativarius
Tom Halla
February 14, 2023 5:50 am

Selling indulgences was one of the things that led to the Reformation.

Right-Handed Shark
February 14, 2023 7:08 am

What? Carbon trading a scam? Has anyone told Al Gore?

Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
February 14, 2023 11:27 am

He’s too busy counting the money he made from the scam

February 14, 2023 7:43 am

On the one hand: How long before people start covertly releasing greenhouse gases to keep offset prices up and justify other political measures?


On the other hand: My greatest fear is carbon dioxide removal becomes economical. Subsistence farming is likely dependent on its increase.🧵

Last edited 1 month ago by aaron
Reply to  aaron
February 14, 2023 7:51 am

To an extent, this is already happening. Most offset projects are just greenwashing. And the ones that do actually capture carbon are likely just stealing carbon from natural sinks and farmers, particularly subsistence farmers in developing countries.


And the Kyoto Protocol disincentivized prescribed burning to moderate wildfire. Australian Hydrologist Robert Ellison noted post Kyoto change:

February 14, 2023 1:04 pm

There is no justification for carbon trading, end it today. If these companies want to help the planet and disadvantaged then build a nuclear power plant.

February 14, 2023 2:25 pm

As someone has pointed out, both seller and buyer have an incentive for ‘carbon offsets’ to be run as a scam. So of course every ‘carbon offset’ scheme is a scam.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
February 14, 2023 5:14 pm

There maybe a few genuine carbon offset schemes around the world .
BUT does the UN allocate carbon credits to developing countries ?
I ask this because the largest number of carbon credits on the world market are from China and India..
There is absolutely no way that these two countries can generate carbon credits as they are by far the largest users of coal in the world .
In 2021 China used 53.8 % of world coal, that is 4.3 billion tonnes which would release over a 100 billion tonnes of CO2 per year without counting the methane released during coal mining
India used 12.5% of world coal in 2021
In 10 years from 1999 till 2009 world coal production was stable at 4.7 Billion tonnes.
Since then coal production has exceeded 8 billion tonnes in 2018 and 2021 with by far most of the increase being used in these two countries.
3.3 billion tonnes of additional coal burnt would release nearly 8 billion tonnes of CO2 and somehow they have carbon credits for sale .
As far as I can see most carbon credits are a scam for companies and corporations to buy so that they can tell their customers that they are carbon neutral.
They can say they have offset their emissions but what if the units are fake ?
In saying this New Zealand carbon credits are genuine but when this crazy governments carbon farming starts planting pines I don’t think that when these forests catch on fire that the sellers will pay back the carbon credits .

Reply to  Graham
February 15, 2023 1:46 pm

I think that China and India are in a very good position to issue carbon credits, thanks to their use of coal. “We were going to treble our use of coal this year, but now we’re only going to double it. Send us the money.“.

Capt Jeff
February 14, 2023 7:56 pm

Can anyone explain how a mature forest is a carbon sink in the first place? You have growing plants that absorb CO2 but you should be experiencing leave and dead tree decay which releases CO2 in balance with absorption.

If you cut down trees, convert to lumber, protect the lumber from decay (eg paint) and plant new growth trees you will increase CO2 reduction.

Think of the extreme of no animals, including us. Would just having virgin forests and grass around the world eventually remove all CO2 from the atmosphere?

The whole concept of virgin forest as CO2 sinks implies that is what would happen.

Reply to  Capt Jeff
February 15, 2023 1:49 pm

A mature forest is carbon neutral, virtually by definition. Think of it this way. A mature forest, in a hundred or a thousand years time, will have the same total amount of tree as it has today. In other words, it will have the same amount of carbon that it has today.

Reply to  Capt Jeff
February 15, 2023 2:14 pm

It would appear that if you increase the CO2 content of the air, even old growth forest is very productive. (The big trees only need to grow a little to add tons of weight). However, you can also cut the stored carbon down and use it, letting new plants take over without losing the sink.

In the event of animal and insect life extinction, we would expect the CO2 to reduce to the point where most plants die, and the remaining flora would balance on knife’s edge with CO2 emissions from volcanoes, hydrothermal vents, comet tails, and the like until the last lichen suffocates during a quiet bit with no seismic actvity.

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