Newest contributor to global warming: Carbon offset schemes

posted at 4:49 pm on June 2, 2007 by Allahpundit

This was in headlines earlier but the items are cycling so quickly that some people don’t get to see them before they’re gone. We’re working on setting up a separate page for items that have slipped off the front page. In the meantime, this one warrants flagging. Not because it’s news — it isn’t — but simply because of the jolt of schadenfreude it provides.

Corruption — in an environmental scheme? In the third world? Within an agency under UN supervision? Who knew?

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which is supposed to offset greenhouse gases emitted in the developed world by selling carbon credits from elsewhere, has been contaminated by gross incompetence, rule-breaking and possible fraud by companies in the developing world, according to UN paperwork, an unpublished expert report and alarming feedback from projects on the ground.

One senior figure suggested there may be faults with up to 20% of the carbon credits – known as certified emissions reductions – already sold. Since these are used by European governments and corporations to justify increases in emissions, the effect is that in some cases malpractice at the CDM has added to the net amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere

One source who has been working closely with the CDM board had seen some companies filing reports with “all kinds of basic errors which make you wonder if they have any idea what they’re doing”. They included an entire report in a foreign language when basic rules require it to be in English; submitting a report containing remarks such as “we must check this before we submit the report”.

Other errors are said to be more serious, including conjuring up numbers when projects on the ground failed to provide them; giving a green light to commercial projects which make no contribution to reducing greenhouse gases; and approving existing projects which cannot claim to be part of the drive to cut emissions.

Most of the concern is around the crucial CDM test of “additionality” – proof that a project is delivering cuts in greenhouse gases that would not otherwise have happened. In an unpublished report, one of the CDM board’s expert advisers, Axel Michaelowa, examined all 52 Indian projects which had been registered up to May 2006 and found that a third of them failed this additionality test.

If you missed it in March, here’s the ultimate “additionality” clusterfark. Look for “TerraPass” and just keep scrolling.

Breaking on Hot Air



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Catie96706 on June 2, 2007 at 5:01 PM

I just set up a business selling “carbon offset offsets” that all you guilty purchasers of prior inefficent offsets can now buy to address the damage your actions caused.

Get them while they’re hot!

Jack M. on June 2, 2007 at 5:04 PM

Mr. Goracle’s snake oil cure for the greenhouse vapors. Offer not valid where prohibited by sane people.

Buck Turgidson on June 2, 2007 at 5:22 PM

I think its just great. I am a huge fan of the entrepreneurial spirit. Additionally I see this as a great opportunity to network. So I wish you guys all the luck. Let me know how that works out for ya!

sonnyspats1 on June 2, 2007 at 5:36 PM

Give me $100 bucks, you can pollute all you want and I won’t mow my yard all summer.

Buzzy on June 2, 2007 at 5:50 PM

The largest Norwegian organization for carbon offsets has been so overwhelmed with money that they have no chance of actually fulfilling all the obligations of reducing CO2 emissions. Further, there is no evidence that they’ve been able to, or will be able to, cut down on CO2 emissions through their projects to any real degree.

Why am I still working 9-5? I should start up one of these companies and get rich while I can.

Seixon on June 2, 2007 at 5:54 PM

Global Warming Terror

bloggless on June 2, 2007 at 6:14 PM

sonnyspats1 on June 2, 2007 at 5:36 PM

I’ve got a closer to home opportunity.

Yes, you too can own a piece of paradise.

Entrance question: Who was P.T. Barnum?

Kini on June 2, 2007 at 7:08 PM

Jack M. on June 2, 2007 at 5:04 PM

That’s a great idea. I think I’ll set up a Carbon Offset Offset Offset business. I will emit as much greenhouse gases (especially methane) to offset the offset offsets you purchased. Then I will demand a ransom–20% of the profits of Global Warming textbooks sold worldwide–to eliminate this pollution.

Because liberals are so keen to capitulate to our enemies, they’ll just roll over. Then I’ll cheat (like North Korea) and demand even more of them in the future. Maybe Mohamed AlBaradei could tell the world it is his express purpose to stop crazy people from interfering with my business.

cmay on June 2, 2007 at 9:49 PM

On NPR’s Friday science interviews, a research explained that, with new technology, such atmospheric carbon can now be removed from the air efficiently, cost-effectively, and this worl renders ALL concern with such “pollution” and related carbon offsets, and C02 worries, utterly void and totally moot.

The problem has been solved.

How soon with the “global warming”-entrenched media report this at the deserved LOUD volume?

Another scientist on the program [“Science Friday”] then explained that free hydrogen can be cheaply seperated from water with a new chemical pellet, effectively solving the hydrogen car fuel problem. (Bill Gates or someone of that wallet size should be setting up the hydrogen service stations in anticipation of this new route.)

And the best result of these two breathroughs: giving Al Gore a reason to sweat through his shroud-y suits… his luddite cash cow has just been sacrified to inventive reality.

profitsbeard on June 2, 2007 at 10:17 PM

Speaking of cows and carbon offsets, I will offer to be a part of the solution.

Problem: according to AlBore’s nature religion evangelical fire and brimstone scare play movie, An Inconvenient Truth, greenhouse gases are gonna cook the planet. GHG’s will have us all well done.

Well, that well done thingy doesn’t sit with me right, ’cause, you know, I’m a medium rare kinda guy.

Supporting data: according to the EPA, cow flatulence is a significant source of methane, a GHG that has been identified as being at least nine times more potent (pardon the pun) than carbon dioxide. And there are a lot of cows in the world. When you pick up that next glass of milk to drink, remember that the cow that made your milk continues to ruin the planet by its incessant farting.

So I have a solution, one that I think will rid the planet of this flatulence menace:

For a mere $50 donation, I will issue you a GHG credit directly proportional to the percentage of beef I consume on your behalf for one night.

That’s right. Your $50 will help slaughter the horde of cows destroying our loving Gaia.

A truly rare solution, don’t you think?

Wanderlust on June 3, 2007 at 3:02 AM

A whole new industry, how nice.

Aylios on June 3, 2007 at 7:24 AM

When the wind mill goes up on my farm, will I still get carbon credits so I can use my central air and drive a Hummer?
These offset credits are just another way to take other peoples money and make them feel good. As if they are doing something to help global warming.
Why is it warming up on plants that don’t have humans? Sure isn’t our fault. Maybe it is the sun and this is a regular part of a cycle. Do ya think?

bjb on June 3, 2007 at 12:17 PM

Global warming is all about the money… its about your money being spent to “fix” a “problem” that does not exist. Your not suppose to ask question…. just send money.

Maxx on June 3, 2007 at 12:23 PM

This article is just another backhanded endorsement of Al Gore’s propaganda. Al Gore and his lies are bolstered by such articles because it pretends that global warming is real but of course it is not. Here’s some weather news that Al won’t talk about.

Weather breaks records – and it’s not hot weather!

Maxx on June 3, 2007 at 4:43 PM