UN carbon credit program useless

Billions of pounds are being wasted in paying industries in developing countries to reduce climate change emissions, according to two analyses of the UN’s carbon offsetting programme.

Leading academics and watchdog groups allege that the UN’s main offset fund is being routinely abused by chemical, wind, gas and hydro companies who are claiming emission reduction credits for projects that should not qualify. The result is that no genuine pollution cuts are being made, undermining assurances by the UK government and others that carbon markets are dramatically reducing greenhouse gases, the researchers say.

The researchers found that most of the projects claiming carbon credits would have been built anyway, something which directly contradicts the goals of the program, which are that the projects would not have happened without the credits.

“Traders are finding ways of gaining credits that they would never have had before. You will never know accurately, but rich countries are clearly overpaying by a massive amount,” said Victor.

Yet another apparently good idea destroyed by the “magic of the marketplace.” Sounds like the opportunities for corruption and kickbacks are massive here too.

Carbon credits will only work when they are legally enforceable and monitored by an international organization with the power to prosecute those violate or try to evade the rules. Period. Otherwise the system will continue to be gamed and will accomplish little if anything in the way of real carbon reduction.

The “marketplace” can not and will not self-regulate and do the ethical thing. This has been rather conclusively proven by the collapse of Enron and the current mortgage and credit debacles.