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Old 04-26-2007, 09:47 PM   #1
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Enviro-Scam

Some green credits aren't giving the offsets they claim to be
Quote:
Companies and individuals rushing to go green have been spending millions on “carbon credit” projects that yield few if any environmental benefits.

A Financial Times investigation has uncovered widespread failings in the new markets for greenhouse gases, suggesting some organisations are paying for emissions reductions that do not take place.

Others are meanwhile making big profits from carbon trading for very small expenditure and in some cases for clean-ups that they would have made anyway.

The growing political salience of environmental politics has sparked a “green gold rush”, which has seen a dramatic expansion in the number of businesses offering both companies and individuals the chance to go “carbon neutral”, offsetting their own energy use by buying carbon credits that cancel out their contribution to global warming.

The burgeoning regulated market for carbon credits is expected to more than double in size to about $68.2bn by 2010, with the unregulated voluntary sector rising to $4bn in the same period.

The FT investigation found:

■ Widespread instances of people and organisations buying worthless credits that do not yield any reductions in carbon emissions.

■ Industrial companies profiting from doing very little – or from gaining carbon credits on the basis of efficiency gains from which they have already benefited substantially.

■ Brokers providing services of questionable or no value.

■ A shortage of verification, making it difficult for buyers to assess the true value of carbon credits.

■ Companies and individuals being charged over the odds for the private purchase of European Union carbon permits that have plummeted in value because they do not result in emissions cuts.

Francis Sullivan, environment adviser at HSBC, the UK’s biggest bank that went carbon-neutral in 2005, said he found “serious credibility concerns” in the offsetting market after evaluating it for several months.

“The police, the fraud squad and trading standards need to be looking into this. Otherwise people will lose faith in it,” he said.

These concerns led the bank to ignore the market and fund its own carbon reduction projects directly.
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I think a big part of the problem (apart from accountability) is time; these reductions (which would in many cases have happened anyway) are not immediate removal to offset - it's the potential offset.
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:53 AM   #2
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There will always be someone to take advantage of the fears of others.
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Old 04-27-2007, 10:36 PM   #3
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Like Republicans did with the war on terror?
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:35 PM   #4
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Valid points raised in the OP, and recently I find myself in the surprising position of largely agreeing with an opinion piece of Charles Krauthammer:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...599714,00.html

".......purchasing carbon credits is an incentive to burn even more fossil fuels, since now it is done under the illusion that it's really cost-free to the atmosphere.

Second, it is a way for the rich to export the real costs and sacrifices of pollution control to the poorer segments of humanity in the Third World. (Apparently, Hollywood's plan is to make up for that by adopting every last one of their children.) For example, GreenSeat, a Dutch carbon-trading outfit, buys offsets from a foundation that plants trees in Uganda's Mount Elgon National Park to soak up the carbon emissions of its rich Western patrons. Small problem: expanding the park encroaches on land traditionally used by local farmers. As a result, reports the New York Times, "villagers living along the boundary of the park have been beaten and shot at, and their livestock has been confiscated by armed park rangers." All this so that swimming pools can be heated and Maseratis driven with a clear conscience in the fattest parts of the world."
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Old 04-30-2007, 12:18 AM   #5
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Old 04-30-2007, 12:27 AM   #6
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I'm surprised to see so many conservatives skeptical of such an inherently "conservative" solution to global warming. After all, what capitalist doesn't adore a trading market?

But, really, I'd agree. Carbon trading is as much of a joke as back when certain people in the Pentagon expressed an interest in "terror trading." But while the outcry was loud enough to stop the latter, there seems to have never been enough to stop the former, unfortunately.
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Old 04-30-2007, 12:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ormus
I'm surprised to see so many conservatives skeptical of such an inherently "conservative" solution to global warming. After all, what capitalist doesn't adore a trading market?

But, really, I'd agree. Carbon trading is as much of a joke as back when certain people in the Pentagon expressed an interest in "terror trading." But while the outcry was loud enough to stop the latter, there seems to have never been enough to stop the former, unfortunately.
Offsets are different than capping and then "trading" usage rights. Like we did with sulfur dioxide. That would be a real commodity. Offsets are problem plagued from start to finish. The article didn't even mention that much of the "offset" is lost when the tree or plant dies, releasing back CO2.
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Old 05-01-2007, 12:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by AEON
There will always be someone to take advantage of the fears of others.
Exactly!
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