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Welcome to Trading Carbon. FERN and associates will regularly blog about recent carbon trading news (see left-hand bar). To find out more about carbon trading and why it is contraversial, see FERN's online book, featured below the blog, or read the book in pdf format. There is also a summary of the book available.

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The EU commission says 71% of all EU heavy industry should be entitled to get most of their allowances for free to help them meet their obligations under the EU-ETS,  over 2015-2019. This would be needed to help industry compete in global markets. 

Full article can be found here.


FERN's comment:

With carbon prices hovering around 5€, there is no excuse for industry not to buy the carbon credits themselves. Furthermore, receiving the permits for free means industry will never reduce their emissions, which is the ultimate goal of the carbon market system. 

Once again, we see that industry lobbying is stronger than the climate commitments made by the European Commission.

Yet another case of carbon fraud!

Briton arrested in the US, in connection with suspected tax fraud worth 136 million euros ($189 million), deepening a European carbon trading probe that has also drawn in Deutsche Bank. 

More information can be found here.

FERN's comment:

One of the severe problems with Carbon Markets is that what is being traded is nothing tangible, ultimately bringing it down to just ‘trading number codes’. Of course, this system is prone to corruption, as specific cases prove over and over again.

Needless to say that corruption in the carbon markets undermines the very objectives of the carbon trading system!

“Carbon Crooks” A new documentary

This documentary looks in detail at the scams that surround carbon offsetting, and exposes the EU ETS as a failed policy that has not reduced emissions. See here for the trailer.


FERN's comment:

Buying and selling carbon credits or ‘carbon offsetting’ was never meant to reduce emissions: it moves emissions from one place to another. Offsetting is a cost-management tool to make reducing emissions cheaper. It discourages companies from making much needed, potentially expensive changes to their business model and to their energy sources because they are allowed to 'offset' their emissions more cheaply.  For instance, a factory can continue polluting in the EU if it pays for trees to be planted in Mozambique, as in ne case that FERN investigated. However, this film is a stark reminder that these projects are scams: they do not reduce the emissions they say they do, resulting in a rise in emissions.

Tom Heinemann, the director, goes with his camera to visit a number of projects that earn ‘carbon credits’ and exposes that they do not actually reduce emissions. Heinemann visits the so called ‘smokeless factories’ that are getting money by selling carbon credits, which Connie Hedegaard (interviewed in the film) admits are not so ‘smokeless’ after all. Heinemann also visits Kenya where 900,000 water filters that avoid burning wood to purify water have been given out, earning carbon credits. However, the communities that Heinemann visits admit that they do not use them; in fact, many admitted that they never used to boil water, and so no emissions have actually been saved.

This documentary makes it clear that carbon offsets have been an excuse to continue emitting Greenhouse Gas emissions. If we are to heed the warnings of the latest IPCC report, the EU must act urgently to reduce its own emissions instead of delaying action through offsets. For more information on carbon offsets see chapter 3 of FERN’s book ‘Trading Carbon’, available online.