Tag: Carbon Credits

Carbon offset companies: the new snake oil salesmen?

(April 22, 2010) Buyers of voluntary carbon credits take note: you might be a victim of environmental fraud. A recent investigation by the Christian Science Monitor (CSM) and the New England Centre for Investigative Reporting (NECIR) found that the burgeoning $700-million market for voluntary carbon credits has been selling credits backed by empty promises rather than tangible environmental benefits.

Gasping for air: Carbon markets stumble, again

(April 13, 2010) To save the planet from man-made global warming, the EU created a cap-and-trade system under which polluters can buy ever- diminishing rights to emit CO2. That “market,” created by regulatory fiat to satisfy the Kyoto Protocol, has been up and running since 2006. But last month, Hungary brought Europe’s carbon market to its knees. How? It sold “used” or “spent” carbon credits that found their way back onto the market, casting doubt on the authenticity of all credits.

Another alleged scam unearthed in the carbon markets

(March 30 , 2010) Carbon markets are again facing allegations of a scam involving the trading of carbon credits. Reuters reports the Australian company WesternField Holdings Inc. has been accused of defrauding investors down under of A$3.5 million ($3.2 million) through a telemarketing swindle. Although blacklisted by the country’s securities regulator, the firm continues to operate.

The great carbon con

(February 23, 2010) Optimists say the carbon market could one day be worth as much as $2-3 trillion dollars if countries like the United States implement a legally-binding cap-and-trade system. But those numbers may be wildly optimistic in the wake of the scandals involving scientists and research centres supporting climate change and the recent political back-tracking on implementing cap-and-trade schemes. More realistically, the carbon market is struggling just to stay relevant.

The state of affairs for carbon

(February 15, 2010) Carbon markets have suffered a number of criticisms since they were first introduced — ranging from being a haven for white collar crime to a sponsor of environmental harm in Third World communities. With global leaders failing to reach an agreement to extend the Kyoto Protocol at the December meeting in Copenhagen, many people are asking if carbon markets will survive at all (also see here and here).

Breathe of fresh air: banks pull out of carbon market

(Jaunary 28, 2010) Banks and other investors are pulling out of the carbon market after government leaders at last month’s meeting in Copenhagen failed to come up with new emissions targets beyond the current Kyoto Treaty, which ends in 2012. According to a recent report in the UK Guardian, a number of carbon fianciers have already begun leaving banks in London due to a lack of activity and a pull-back in investment demand.

Russian Roulette: Russia’s surplus of carbon credits too big of a gamble for some

(December 23, 2009) A recent article in the Wall Street Journal details one of the many problems facing the implementation of carbon markets: the political tampering of an artificial market. According to the story, Russia is demanding that it be able to retain its massive surplus of emissions permits after they expire in 2012. Yet, critics argue that if Russia were to off-load these credits on international carbon markets, it would lead to a collapse in the price of carbon.

UN has second thoughts about giving carbon credits to China’s wind farms

(December 11, 2009) Recent reports say that a United Nations committee has stopped giving carbon credits to developers of wind energy projects in China, citing concerns that the projects qualified for the credits unfairly. The UN is concerned that the Chinese government lowered its subsidies to wind farms so they would qualify for carbon credits through the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).