Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Carbon Trading Open Invitation To Fraud

Carbon Trading Open Invitation To Fraud

Carbon trading is an open invitation to fraud, in the opinion of Auckland energy consultant Bryan Leyland, who is chairman of the economic panel of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.

"I first heard about carbon trading at a conference more than 10 years ago. I got up and said 'If I was the financial adviser to the Mafia, I would advise them to get into carbon trading.' Nothing that has happened since then changes my opinion - rather the reverse," said Mr Leyland.

"It is interesting to compare it with electricity trading. In an electricity market, the amount of electricity bought and sold is measured to an accuracy of +/- 0.2% every 30 minutes. On top of that, when you buy electricity, you get an amount of energy of high value that you can use directly for your benefit.

"With carbon trading, it is all different. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions from an industrial plant can be measured to an accuracy of, at best, +/-10%. If you are purchasing carbon credits from, for instance, a forest, the accuracy of measurement is probably something between +/-100%. If it is a tropical forest, it could be minus 150% because there is reasonable evidence that some tropical forests are net emitters of greenhouse gases," Mr Leyland continued.

"But it gets worse. In between the buyer and seller is an 'auditor' who, in theory, can make an accurate judgement as to the quantity of greenhouse gases being traded. He is the direct equivalent of the old inspector of weights and measures or electricity meter reader. If the reading of an electricity meter is fiddled, one party wins and the other party loses. But if an auditor fraudulently states that a forest is absorbing say, 200 tons of carbon dioxide per annum when a more realistic figure might be 100 tons, both parties win. The forest owner wins because he sells more credits. The purchaser of the credits wins because he is out to buy a piece of paper certifying that he purchased carbon credits. If the volume is fiddled upwards, the chances are that the price per tonne will be reduced and, anyway, he probably needs to buy more credits than are available.

"So, to my knowledge, carbon trading is the only commodity trading where it is impossible to establish with reasonable accuracy how much is being bought and sold, where the commodity that is traded is invisible and can perform no useful purpose for the purchaser, and where both parties benefit if the quantities traded have been exaggerated.

"It is, therefore, an open invitation to fraud and that is exactly what is happening all over the world," said Mr Leyland.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: PayPal Stops Processing Mega Payments; NZX Listing Still On

PayPal has ceased processing payments for Mega, the file storage and encryption firm looking to join the New Zealand stock market via a reverse listing of TRS Investments, amid claims it is not a legitimate cloud storage service. More>>

ALSO:

Housing Policy: Auckland Densification As Popular As Ebola, English Says

Finance Minister Bill English said calls by the Reserve Bank Governor for more densification in Auckland’s housing were “about as popular in parts of Auckland as Ebola” would be. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: NZ Government Deficit Smaller Than Expected In First Half

The New Zealand government's operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first six months of the financial year, as the consumption and corporate tax take rose ahead of forecast in December, having lagged estimates in previous months. More>>

ALSO:

Fruit & Veg Crackdown: Auckland Fruit Fly Find Under Investigation

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is investigating a find of a single male Queensland fruit fly in a surveillance trap in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn... MPI has placed legal controls on the movement of fruit and some vegetables outside of a defined circular area which extends 1.5km from where the fly was trapped in Grey Lynn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Westpac NZ Reaches $2.97M Swaps Settlement

Westpac Banking Corp’s New Zealand unit has agreed to pay $2.97 million in a settlement with the Commerce Commission over the way the bank sold interest rate swaps to farmers between 2005 and 2012. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news