One Solution to the Crisis: Kneecap and Trade

Fri, 2009-06-12 13:39Ross Gelbspan
Ross Gelbspan's picture

One Solution to the Crisis: Kneecap and Trade

“As Australian companies prepare to trade emissions, climate criminals are cashing in on similar schemes overseas. Interpol has warned companies to beware of bogus ‘carbon credits’ that fail to lower emissions. One Interpol agent said the carbon market would be irresistible to criminal gangs. ‘In future, if you are running a factory and you desperately need credits to offset your emissions, there will be someone who can make that happen,’ he said. ‘Absolutely, organized crime will be involved.’ “  

 

Previous Comments

We already knew that cap-and-trade was more prone to fraud than other system. Check out the “Cap-and-Trade vs Cap-and-Restructure” link at Exploring New Solutions for Global Warming and the Environment.

There no point hoping that it will not happen.  We just need a better system and the website above does propose one.

Right on target!

(Hi Ross, from Anne Polansky at CSW with Piltz…)

We’ve already seen the phenomenon in action, over and over.


The best recent example was the  passage of RCRA, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, preventing the dumping of haz waste in landfills and setting engineering requirements for haz waste repositories (double liners, caps, monitoring systems, etc etc etc..)  and right after the law was passed, a new mafia industry was born.   Trash disposal suddenly had cache, and cash associated with it.   

So, it’s important to be very careful what markets you create and what the “unintended consequences” are of market interventions, which this is.

I’m fairly certain the W-M cap-n-traders haven’t give this aspect much thought.  But, they should.   And there should be some built-in safeguards against abuse.   Else…    climate chaos will take on a whole new meaning…

(by the way, we live-blogged yesterday on the release of the major impacts report, http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/6/16/125221/600?new=true)

~ Anne

Profit and Greed are the ultimate undoing of the human race. It is not surprising at all.
There are no net GHG reductions associated with most of the GHG projects that have been approved and issued credits (“CERs”)by the UNFCCC’s CDM/JI Board. A GHG credit is a financial derivative insturment that purports to represent a 1TCO2e reduction in a project, corporate or national GHG inventory. As long as national and supra-national governments continue to undermine the GHG reduction agenda by issuing credits to projects that do not–in some cases can not–publish any form of GHG inventory, or when the project’s inventory cannot be integrated into any published national GHG inventory, then the global carbon market is destined to crash as hard and big as the credit default swap market did in 2008.

I really wonder about the role that Canadian environmental leaders have played in supporting this bogus market. It is sad, really. It is not hard to get this right. All we have to do is create a GHG inventory registry and rule that no person can offer a carbon credit for sale (in voluntary or compliance markets) unless it originates and is properly accounted for in a registered, published and regularly updated GHG inventory. Carbon credit offerings from proponents who do not update their inventories should be delisted. We don’t actually need “caps” to make this market real. We need published inventories. And putting “caps” in place but failing to publish inventories or link the new derivative instruments to those inventories is a total waste of time and cash.

Private companies do not have to publish financial reports. But if a private company wants to offer shares to the public, they must regularly publish financial reports. It should be exactly the same for carbon credits. If a person/company wants to offer carbon derivatives to the public for sale, they should be obliged to publish an inventory. They also must be obliged to account for their credit sales. When I purchase a GHG credit from an entity, that entity has to add 1 TCO2e to its inventory report. Without this standard double-entry book-keeping practice–where each credit has a balancing debit entry (which practice does not yet exist in the Kyoto market)–the global carbon market is nothing but hot air.

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But, they should. And there should be some built-in safeguards against abuse. Else… climate chaos will take on a whole new meaning…

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