Who is cashing in on carbon credits?

The global carbon credit market will grow in leaps and
bounds if government leaders attending this week’s climate change
conference in Copenhagen commit to stiffer reduction targets for
CO2 emissions. The value of the carbon market-currently worth as
much as $126-billion-may grow to as much as $1.9 trillion by

To help keep track of dealings and hold accountable parties that
are buying and selling these carbon credits, Probe International
has created an interactive href=”http://www.probeinternational.org/carbon-credit-welcome”
target=”_blank”>Carbon Credits Database. The database provides
a comprehensive list and associated documentation of all the
projects around the globe that have received carbon credits through
the UN’s Clean
Development Mechanism (CDM)

Carbon credits are quickly becoming a popular tool for both
governments and private parties to offset their “href=”http://www.probeinternational.org/glossary/term/101”
class=”glossary-term”>carbon footprint.” Even rock stars buy
them to “green” their image and assuage anxious fans who fear
planetary damage from energy intensive concerts. But whether carbon
credits will save the planet is doubtful. Indeed, growing evidence
suggests they do harm.

Officially, carbon credits, specifically those issued through
the CDM, allow companies or governments in the developed world to
“offset” their carbon emissions by financing “green” or carbon
reducing projects in the developing world.

This market, supporters claim, acts as an efficient way to cut
global carbon emissions.

But, in reality, as Probe’s carbon credit database shows, all is
not well on the carbon-trading front. Carbon credits are financing
projects such as hydro dams that are causing environmental and
social problems of their own, while discouraging developing nation
governments from href=”http://energy.probeinternational.org/the-double-standard-international-carbon-credits”
target=”_blank”>introducing more stringent national pollution

“Absolutely, organized crime will be involved,”

Moreover, carbon markets seem especially prone to fraud and
organized crime. This summer, for example, officials in the UK
discovered an alleged $60 million fraud involving the trading of
carbon credits. And Peter Younger, an environmental crimes
specialist at Interpol warned, “there will be fraudulent trading of
carbon credits.”

If organized crime and environmental damage aren’t enough to
cast a shadow over carbon credits, there is the added problem that
carbon credits are a highly vulnerable asset because governments
determine the value of CO2 by fiat.

Government manipulation of the carbon market could leave
investors holding devalued assets. Or, if investigations into the
recent leaked emails-known as “Climategate”-conclude that the
climate data has indeed been distorted and that the scientific
basis for man-made global warming is unfounded, governments may
retract regulations that created the carbon credits in the first
place. Either way, investors in carbon credits are in a high-risk

For the details of CDM carbon credits, href=”http://www.probeinternational.org/carbon-credit-welcome”
target=”_blank”>you can go directly to our carbon credit

Things you should know about carbon

  • China has received almost 50 percent of all carbon credits
    issued through the CDM. These credits are worth $3.2 billion at
    current prices.

  • China has also received around 4 million CDM carbon credits
    worth $75 million at current prices and used the funds to build 47
    new dams.

  • China has received nearly 8 million credits for wind projects,
    worth $153 million at current prices. An estimated $2.5 million of
    these wind credits are now under review by the UN because they may
    not have been eligible.

  • India has received 20 percent of all carbon credits issued
    through the CDM. These credits are worth $1.9 billion at current

  • Together India and China have received around 68 percent of all
    carbon credits issued through the CDM, worth $4.6 billion at
    current prices, and used them to build 70 new dams, more than 100
    wind projects and more than $3 billion worth of
    hydrofluorocarbon-23 (HFC-23) projects-a byproduct in the
    manufacturing process of HCFC-22, which is a gas used as a

Source: www.probeinternational.org

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