(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.
(April 20, 2010) Of all the systems pitched as environmental panaceas, few seem seem to be as mired in controversy and confusion as carbon trading.
(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.
(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.
(March 11, 2010) China is idling as much as 40 percent of its wind-turbine factories following a surge in investment driven by the government’s renewable-energy goals, the vice president of Shanghai Electric Group Corp. said.
(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.
(February 23, 2010) A massive new market in forest carbon would come with a series of new (and not so new) risks.
(February 22, 2010) After political leaders failed at December’s climate summit in Copenhagen to agree to a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the price of carbon has been slowly deflating. Many investors are now wary of pouring more money into a scheme that depends on political will, rather than economic fundamentals.
(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).
(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.
(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.
(December 18, 2009) Climate change fears are pushing developing countries around the world into funding risky and uneconomic projects. China’s recent announcement that it is planning a massive expansion of its nuclear program is the latest example.
(December 15, 2009) The Canadian activist group Probe International based in Toronto is arguing that the global carbon credit market is not the environmental panacea it is held out to be and could actually be doing environmental harm.
(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).
(December 8, 2009) As the Copenhagen climate conference opens, the existing mechanism for carbon trading is drawing close scrutiny. The Chinese authorities’ misuse of the carbon credit scheme, CDM, has come to the surface, challenging the effectiveness of the global carbon trade in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.