Tag Archives: carbon credits

Money For Nothing #147: $1.1m Rort Of Renewable Energy Certificate Scheme

2 Jun

fraud-magnifying-glass

The following story appeared in the print version of today’s Sunday Telegraph, pp. 9. For some reason, it was not published online for all to find:

Woman on $1.1 solar rort charges

Brendan Hills
Court reporter

A Sydney woman allegedly rorted the federal government’s renewable energy scheme of at least $1.1 million.

The Sunday Telegraph can reveal Toongabbie woman Lucie Yeung, 61, allegedly stole 37,600 renewable energy certificates from a solar panel business in Rhodes, in Sydney’s northwest, according to documents tendered to Burwood Local Court. It is one of 147 allegations of rorts of the government’s Renewable Energy Target scheme last year, according to the Energy Regulator’s annual report.

Most of the rorts related to the creation of fraudulent certificates for rooftop solar panels. The business, Inspire Solar, received an allocation of renewable energy certificates (REC) which could be traded as a form of currency under the government’s Renewable Energy Target scheme.

But Yeung allegedly logged in to the government’s REC registration website and transferred 37,600 of Inspire Solar certificates to her own business name.

It is understood Yeung has access to log-in details for the website because she worked in the industry.

Police conservatively estimated the value of each certificate to be $30, court documents said.

The value of the certificates can fluctuate, but police told Burwood Local Court the conservative value of the certificates allegedly stolen by Yeung was $1.128 million. Yeung was arrested in December and charged with dishonestly obtaining money by deception. She has pleaded not guilty. Yeung surrendered possession of the certificates when she was arrested.

Court documents said Yeung allegedly stole the certificates between January and July 2011.

The Sunday Telegraph understands Yeung did some work for Inspire Solar, one of countless companies which emerged to take advantage of the federal government’s solar rebate plan.

Yeung will appear in Burwood Local Court on June 27.

147 cases of rorting the Renewable Energy Target scheme alone — in 1 year — is an epidemic. And one that should surprise no one.

Here are just a few of the countless similar examples from other “green” currency schemes around the world:

Dec 20, 2012 — “Last year, Clean Green Fuels in Maryland was accused of selling 32 million fake biodiesel RIN credits to oil companies and brokers. In June 2012, CEO Rodney Hailey was convicted of wire fraud, money laundering, and of violating the Clean Air Act.

Absolute Fuels in Texas, was sent an EPA Notice of Violation in February this year. On July 19, owner Jeffrey David Gunselman was arrested for having allegedly created on his computer more than $50 million in RIN credits that he then sold. He didn’t even have the facilities to produce biodiesel. Earlier this month, he pleaded guilty to a laundry list of charges and is contemplating a maximum sentence of $20 million in fines and 1,268 years in the hoosegow.

Another Texas company, Green Diesel, received a Notice of Violation on April 30. The issue: 60 million fake RINs. By then, CEO Philip Rivkin had apparently skedaddled to Europe, out of harm’s way.”

Dec 14, 2012 –- “Five hundred German police and tax inspectors raided offices and residences connected with Deutsche Bank in Berlin, Frankfurt and Dusselforf, Wednesday over allegations of conspiracy involving over €300 million in carbon trading tax fraud.”

May 1, 2011 — “Europe’s biggest polluters have made billions out of the European Emissions Trading System (ETS). But a new briefing by Carbon Trade Watch (CTW) says the scheme will ensure industry will not have to cut its emissions until at least 2017.

The first phase of the ETS ran from 2005 to 2007. It made no dent in emissions. But power companies made about 19 billion euros by charging customers for the “cost” of permits they were given for free.

Manufacturers made about 14 billion euros in windfall profits with the same trick.”

And then there are the human rights abuses, of the world’s most needy, by the world’s most greedy, in the pursuit of profit from green “credits”:

Nov 30, 2011 — Carbon Credits in the ‘Valley of Death’

Uncovering the ugly effects of U.N.-backed ‘clean development’ in Honduras.

“Within the last two years more than 1,500 peasant families have lost their homes, schools and communities due to forceful evictions,” all of which have been linked to African Palm expansion efforts in the Aguan valley.

In July, the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) released a report on Aguan alleging evictions and armed attacks against local communities by “plantation security guards and private militia groups” allowed to act with impunity. The FIDH paper forced a couple of powerful European investors to back out of the Aguan CDM project and caused the European Parliament to order a fact-finding mission. So far, however, these measures don’t seem to have had any impact on the escalating violence.

Over just two days in August, skirmishes between guards and peasants left 11 people dead. A few days later, two more campesino leaders were assassinated–one of them, Pedro Salgado, was shot down in his home along with his wife. An entire peasant village was burned to the ground.

Sep 22, 2011 — “Across Africa, some of the world’s poorest people have been thrown off land to make way for foreign investors, often uprooting local farmers so that food can be grown on a commercial scale and shipped to richer countries overseas.

But in this case, the government and the company said the settlers were illegal and evicted for a good cause: to protect the environment and help fight global warming.

The case twists around an emerging multibillion-dollar market trading carbon-credits under the Kyoto Protocol, which contains mechanisms for outsourcing environmental protection to developing nations.

The company involved, New Forests Company, grows forests in African countries with the purpose of selling credits from the carbon-dioxide its trees soak up to polluters abroad. Its investors include the World Bank, through its private investment arm, and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, HSBC.”

“Green” schemes that financialise carbon dioxide, and that create new artificial “currency” in the form of “credits” for renewable energy schemes, are the latest playground for rampant greed and dishonesty.

Designed by bankers, for bankers.

And for the hordes of speculators, carpet-baggers, fraudsters, and other conscience-free crooks naturally attracted to any new profit-making opportunity.

The new class, of green collar criminals.

With 147 allegations of rorting in the renewable energy scheme alone — in just 1 year — clearly, Australia is no different to anywhere else.

And should the government’s planned transition from a carbon dioxide “tax” to a trading scheme come to fruition — I am one of those who remains wholly unconvinced that a Coalition government will revoke the scheme (consider the duplicity of Liberal state premiers Barry O’Farrell & Campbell Newman on the carbon tax) — then the incidents of fraud will only grow exponentially.

As we have seen previously, the government’s own Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) shows that the so-called “regulation” of emissions by the “biggest polluters” is a complete joke — little more than a propaganda exercise, aimed at maintaining “public confidence” in the scheme (see “Government’s RIS Admits Carbon Emissions ‘Audits’ A Propaganda Exercise”).

And the Auditor-General’s report on the OSCAR computer system used by “polluters” to self-report their emissions, is more of the same (see “An OSCAR For The Clean Energy Future”).

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Scrap The ETS: Growing Global Movement Calls On EU To Abolish “Major Obstacle” To Emissions Reduction

11 Mar

Scrap_the_EU-ETS

I despair for this country.

Contrary to what politicians, lobbyists, and media cheerleaders for popular causes often tell us, as usual, we are behind the times.

Remember the great public argument between these hubristic folks we had to endure that preceded the introduction of our “carbon tax”, as to whether or not we were acting ahead of the rest of the world, or behind the rest of the world, with our Green-Labor government’s post-election “broken promise” decision to “put a price on carbon”?

In the last few days, we have heard a major business lobby group petition our government to cancel the carbon “tax” – it’s only been running for 8 months – and immediately make the transition to a full Emissions Trading Scheme:

Mar 7, 2013 – Ai Group has called on all sides of politics to support the immediate removal of the fixed price carbon tax and move directly to an internationally linked emissions trading scheme.

The same environmental benefit can be achieved at a lower cost and it can be achieved simply by bringing forward by two years the date of Australia’s already-legislated move to emissions trading,” said Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox.

Meanwhile, 3 weeks earlier, over in Europe a growing global movement of (now) over 100 civil society organisations began petitioning the EU member states to abandon attempts to try and fix their much-vaunted – and much-rorted – Emissions Trading Scheme, and just scrap it altogether.

From Carbon Trade Watch:

18 Feb, 2013 – A growing group of civil society organisations is calling on the EU to abolish its Emission Trading System (ETS) to open space for truly effective climate policies. Today they release a joint declaration that highlights the many structural loopholes the ETS is facing, that the proposed reform proposals put forward by EU policy makers will not be able to fix.

Tomorrow (19 Feb.) the Environmental Committee of the European Parliament will vote on the Commission’s backloading proposal. “Although advertised as a way to fix the failing ETS, it is nothing but a drop in the ocean. The EU’s flagship policy to address climate change has diverted attention from the need to transform the system’s dependency on fossil fuels and growing consumption, resulting in increased emissions. After seven lost years, it’s time to make space for effective and fair climate policies,” says Joanna Cabello, from Carbon Trade Watch.

More than 90 organisations, networks and movements from all over the world launch today the joint declaration ‘It is Time to Scrap the ETS’. It lists the structural flaws of the ETS and the risks of trying to fix it.

One of the flaws is the use of offset projects which allows companies or governments from the North to buy credits from a project in the South instead of reducing emissions at source. “The offset projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the biggest offset scheme, has actually increased emissions while causing land grabs and human rights violations, community displacements, conflicts and increased local environmental destruction,” says Isaac Rojas, from Friends of the Earth Latin America and Caribbean (ATALC). “Other new market mechanisms and related financial products (such as forest carbon offsets and biodiversity offsets) follow the same logic which allows, and offsets, deforestation, forest degradation, biodiversity loss and water pollution,” he adds. In spite of the growing evidence of the problems, offset use in the ETS grew by 85% in 2011.

Furthermore, the EU ETS is costing the public a lot of money without serving a public purpose. Belen Balanyá, from Corporate Europe Observatory says: “At a time when EU citizens are shouldering the cost of the economic crisis, they are also being forced to bear the cost of the legislation, regulation and much of the quantification of emissions that carbon markets require, as well as the costs of measures against fraud, theft, corruption, and tax evasion. Meanwhile big polluters such as Arcellor Mittal and Lafarge make millions of windfall profits with over allocated permits.”

The EU ETS created the biggest carbon market in the world and now serves as a model for other countries. China is setting up a system with EU support and is planning to link it to the EU ETS. Other countries and regions such as Brazil, Korea, Australia, California in the US and Quebec in Canada have similar plans. The failures of the ETS will also be exported to other areas, as it will be used as a model for trading other ‘ecosystem services’ such as forests, biodiversity, water, soils and landscapes. In the meantime, civil society groups from around the world are demanding to scrap the ETS so that market mechanisms stop being used as a model for environmental protection.

The organisations supporting this declaration conclude: “It is time to stop fixating on ‘price’ as a driver for change. We need to scrap the ETS and implement effective and fair climate policies by making the necessary transition away from fossil fuel dependency.”

Here is a press release from the ‘Scrap The EU-ETS’ movement, whose logo is the image depicted above:

Brussels, February 26 – As Member States representatives continue discussing their positions regarding the ‘backloading’ of 900 million permits which attempts a ‘quick fix’ to the carbon price in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), a declaration endorsed now by more than 100 civil society organizations, movements and networks from around the world, with support growing every day, believe that this is the wrong debate.

Larry Lohmann from The Corner House, a UK based organisation, says “We need to get our priorities straight. Only by scrapping the EU ETS can we make way for real and effective climate and energy policy that reduces emissions in Europe. The debate should be focused on how to implement strong and just policies that will work for the climate.”

The EU needs to start discussing how to put Europe on a low-carbon pathway, instead of how to save a failed market, explain the campaigners. Markets are a means to an end, not the ultimate goal of climate change policies. If carbon markets fail to address climate change -and the ETS has a track record of failure– they need to be replaced with other means, they argue.

“For seven years we have heard that trading carbon is the ‘only option’. Yet, on closer inspection, the ETS has itself turned out to be a major obstacle to transformative action on climate change in the EU and an instrument to deepen the ecological debt with countries in the South”, says Lyda Fernanda from the Netherlands-based Transnational Institute, who adds “The EU ETS has actively weakened policies such as the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Large Combustion Plant Directive and held back expanding implementation of e.g. feed-in tariff initiatives.”

The ‘Time to scrap the ETS’ declaration takes a fundamentally different stance than that of Business Europe, Eurofer and other big energy intensive industries. Elena Gerebizza from the Italy-based Re:Common says, “Despite all its rhetoric, corporate lobby aims to keep windfall profits while avoiding meaningful emissions cuts at source and necessary structural changes in the European production and economic system. We want a transition from fossil fuels: they don’t. The ETS is an obstacle for this transition and has to be removed.”

In yesterday’s blog I highlighted a simple, brilliant solution for addressing the problem of “man-made” carbon dioxide emissions (and many other important things besides), and expressed my anger and sorrow over the many “otherwise intelligent, educated, thoughtful, well-meaning people [who] have been fooled into supporting” the idea that “putting a price on carbon” or “carbon trading” is the best way to “save the planet”.

I describe such people as “bankers’ stooges”.

Such people typically appear to be completely unaware – or, choose to willfully ignore – the undeniable and well-evidenced fact that carbon dioxide trading schemes all over the world are simply awash with rorts, scams, frauds, and worse … quite literally in some cases, these schemes are responsible for genocide of the world’s poorest people.

Here are just a few examples of the many carbon “credit” trading rorts, frauds, scams, and gross exploitation and human rights violations – by individuals, small companies, huge corporations, major global banks, the World Bank’s private investing arm, and even national governments – that one can easily find, simply by spending 5-10 min with Google Search:

Dec 20, 2012 – Last year, Clean Green Fuels in Maryland was accused of selling 32 million fake biodiesel RIN credits to oil companies and brokers. In June 2012, CEO Rodney Hailey was convicted of wire fraud, money laundering, and of violating the Clean Air Act.

Absolute Fuels in Texas, was sent an EPA Notice of Violation in February this year. On July 19, owner Jeffrey David Gunselman was arrested for having allegedly created on his computer more than $50 million in RIN credits that he then sold. He didn’t even have the facilities to produce biodiesel. Earlier this month, he pleaded guilty to a laundry list of charges and is contemplating a maximum sentence of $20 million in fines and 1,268 years in the hoosegow.

Another Texas company, Green Diesel, received a Notice of Violation on April 30. The issue: 60 million fake RINs. By then, CEO Philip Rivkin had apparently skedaddled to Europe, out of harm’s way.

But a small outfit in Toronto, Bioversel Trading Inc., was particularly resourceful in milking the RIN system—and may not have done anything illegal, according to an excellent investigative series by CBC News. Bioversel hired Canadian National Railways (CN) to shuttle the same trainload of biodiesel twelve times across the US-Canadian border without unloading the cargo. All in the second half of June, 2010. For $2.6 million.

To generate RINs from importing biodiesel into the US, ownership of each trainload was transferred to Bioversel’s US partner, Verdeo, which then, rather than selling the biodiesel in the US, exported it back to Canada. But by exporting the biodiesel, Verdeo would have been required to “retire” the associated RINs, instead of being able to sell them. So Verdeo retired ethanol RINs instead, which cost only a fraction. The difference, less the cost of transportation back and forth, was profit.

CBC News contacted the EPA to get some clarity, but the agency refused to comment. And the railroad? Didn’t they have a clue? Nope. “As required by law, [Canada National Railways] CN discharged its common carrier obligation regarding these biodiesel shipments,” spokesman Mark Hallman wrote to CBC News. “CN is not aware of any pending investigation of an alleged fraud. CN has and will continue to co-operate fully with….” etc. etc.

Alas, CBC News had obtained a copy of an internal CN email, dated June 14, 2010, sent by Teresa Edwards, CN’s Sarnia transportation manager. In addition to some technical details, it included these priceless words: “It will be the same cars flipping back and forth and the product will stay on the car. Target is to get at least 25 flips across the border and back by June 30.” And a word of corporate encouragement: “This move has the potential to make a lot of money for CN so need everyone’s assistance to maximize the number of trips we make and ensure that it all moves smooth.”

In a follow-up email, dated June 28, 2010, of which CBC News also obtained a copy, Edwards wrote: “The Bioversal move back and forth across the border at Sarnia has now completed. Records show that we moved 1984 cars total…. This equates to approximately 2.6 million dollars of revenue….”

Though the Canada Border Services Agency and the EPA are investigating, CBC News emphasized that it “has found no evidence Bioversel or its partners broke any laws.” Apparently, regulations at the time permitted importing biofuels to generate RIN credits, re-export the fuel, retire cheaper ethanol credits instead of biodiesel credits, and laugh all the way to the bank…

***

Dec 14, 2012 – Five hundred German police and tax inspectors raided offices and residences connected with Deutsche Bank in Berlin, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf, Wednesday over allegations of conspiracy involving over €300 million in carbon trading tax fraud.

***

May 1, 2011 – Europe’s biggest polluters have made billions out of the European Emissions Trading System (ETS). But a new briefing by Carbon Trade Watch (CTW) says the scheme will ensure industry will not have to cut its emissions until at least 2017.

The first phase of the ETS ran from 2005 to 2007. It made no dent in emissions. But power companies made about 19 billion euros by charging customers for the “cost” of permits they were given for free.

Manufacturers made about 14 billion euros in windfall profits with the same trick.

…The polluters stand to make more money for doing nothing in the ETS’s second phase. By 2012, power companies will make between 23 billion and 71 billion euros from passing on the cost of their free permits.

The third phase of the ETS, which will run from 2013 to 2020, won’t solve the problems.

***

Mar 6, 2011 – The environmental performance of the EU ETS is so bad that one wonders if emissions would be lower if the EU had followed the US example and did nothing.

But there are winners from this disaster. Along with traders, investment bankers and financial services providers that profit from a financial market created by government regulation, polluting industries have earned windfall profits.

…But the list of people who profit from carbon trading wouldn’t be complete without mentioning fraudsters.

Rogue traders have managed to buy permits from countries that don’t charge value-added tax (VAT). The traders then sell the permits in countries that charge the tax, pocketing the VAT and disappearing with the money.

Known as “carousel fraud”, it has cost European taxpayers an estimated €5 billion, a December 28 Europol report said.

***

Feb 25, 2011 – Another more recent tactic for swindling money from the market involves “phishing” scams. In a phishing scam, the criminal attempts to obtain an account holder’s user name, password and any other necessary information to steal their identity. Account holders on the German registry were the first to be hit by a major phishing scam in January 2010. BBC News reported that the criminals involved with the scam obtained access codes for registry accounts through emails that led targeted account holders to forged websites asking them to input security codes. The criminals then accessed the registry accounts and sold the permits held in the accounts on Danish and British registries for $4 million.

In Australia, the Auditor-General’s report into the government’s “OSCAR” computer system used by “polluters” to self-report their emissions, warned that it contained ”significant security vulnerabilities” that could allow an outside person to fiddle the data, and showed that three-quarters of major polluters’ self-assessments – on which the government will depend for calculating how much carbon tax they owe – had errors and 17 per cent had ‘significant errors’. Buried in the footnotes we found the definition of a “significant error” – apparently, a “biggest polluter” has only made a “significant error” in their self-reporting if it is “greater than 40%” of the total annual emissions that qualified them as being a “biggest polluter” in the first place.

The Auditor-General’s report also stated that, “The department [of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency] does not verify the data reported by corporations. It is expected that audits undertaken as part of the compliance and audit program will examine energy and greenhouse data”. It further stated that, “Compliance is defined by DCCEE as: ‘providing the ability for the regulator to encourage affected parties to comply… This definition recognises that the onus for compliance rests primarily with registered corporations.”

And the government’s own Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) tacitly conceded that the auditing process to check whether “polluters” are accurately and honestly reporting their CO2 emissions and energy use, is little more than an exercise in ‘perceptions management’ (ie, propaganda); a Public Relations exercise to maintain public confidence in the scheme. The RIS stated that, “If there was a perception of widespread non-compliance, community support for the scheme would be much harder to maintain (in the absence of community acceptance and support, the long term future of the scheme could be called into question)” … “In closing, it is important to note that, in considering impacts on the credibility of the scheme, perceptions of non-compliance can be more important than the actual level of non-compliance.”

But let us briefly return to the EU-ETS, which clearly doesn’t work, and is a veritable festival of rorts. Including by national governments:

Feb 2, 2011 – This marks the second time in the past year that carbon trading has been shut down. Last year, the U.N.’s carbon market halted for several days when authorities discovered that the Hungarian government had—legally—been reselling allowances that had already been used. In 2009 Europol reported that in certain countries, 90% of the ETS’s trading volume was taken up by value-added-tax scams. Europe’s system has also been plagued by smaller thefts since its founding in 2005, and some companies in the Third World have spewed pollutants simply to eliminate them and sell the carbon allowances to European companies.

And then there are the violations of human rights, including acts of genocide, being imposed on the world’s poorest people by some of the world’s biggest, wealthiest corporations (including the World Bank’s private investment arm); all in the pursuit of profit from carbon dioxide trading schemes:

Sep 21, 2011 KICUCULA, Uganda — According to the company’s proposal to join a United Nations clean-air program, the settlers living in this area left in a “peaceful” and “voluntary” manner.

People here remember it quite differently.

“I heard people being beaten, so I ran outside,” said Emmanuel Cyicyima, 33. “The houses were being burnt down.”

Other villagers described gun-toting soldiers and an 8-year-old child burning to death when his home was set ablaze by security officers.

“They said if we hesitated they would shoot us,” said William Bakeshisha, adding that he hid in his coffee plantation, watching his house burn down. “Smoke and fire.”

According to a report released by the aid group Oxfam on Wednesday, more than 20,000 people say they were evicted from their homes here in recent years to make way for a tree plantation run by a British forestry company…

“Too many investments have resulted in dispossession, deception, violation of human rights and destruction of livelihoods,” Oxfam said in the report.

… Across Africa, some of the world’s poorest people have been thrown off land to make way for foreign investors, often uprooting local farmers so that food can be grown on a commercial scale and shipped to richer countries overseas.

But in this case, the government and the company said the settlers were illegal and evicted for a good cause: to protect the environment and help fight global warming.

The case twists around an emerging multibillion-dollar market trading carbon-credits under the Kyoto Protocol, which contains mechanisms for outsourcing environmental protection to developing nations.

The company involved, New Forests Company, grows forests in African countries with the purpose of selling credits from the carbon-dioxide its trees soak up to polluters abroad. Its investors include the World Bank, through its private investment arm, and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, HSBC.

And this:

Nov 30, 2011 AGUAN VALLEY, HONDURAS – At 3,000 square miles, the Aguan River Valley in northeastern Honduras is about the same size as California’s Death Valley. But despite being green and fertile, the Aguan basin is becoming famous as a “valley of death.” Since January 2010, at least 45 displaced peasants have been killed in clashes over land rights in Aguan, and “the actual number of killings is probably much higher,” according to Annie Bird, co-director of the human rights advocacy group Rights Action (RA), who visited Honduras in September.

Bird and other critics say that the violence in Aguan is driven by competition over resources between local farmers and large-scale, biofuel production facilities. The valley is home to more than a dozen African palm plantations that supply “green” energy to Europe and Asia, as well as a pair of biogas plants that operate as part of a United Nations carbon-credit initiative.

“The agribusinesses are after all the prime farmland in Aguan,” Bird says. “That’s what’s driving the conflict here.”

African palm plantations have also been linked to land-based violence in Indonesia, Africa, and elsewhere in Latin America, as worldwide demand for biofuels has soared in recent years. But using arable land for fuels, as opposed to food production, has caused a spike in global food prices. In October 2011, the U.N. Committee on Food Security issued a report citing biofuel production as one of the leading causes of food shortages worldwide.

Ignoring its own committee’s report, the U.N. continues to endorse the two biogas plants attached to African palm plantations in the Aguan Valley as part of its controversial Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) program. A product of the Kyoto Protocol, CDMs allow governments and companies from Western countries to trade carbon credits with businesses in developing nations that utilize renewable energy and other carbon-saving techniques. Critics of the CDM program point to the food-vs-fuel dilemma, as well as the issue of “additionality” – that is, whether or not a given CDM would exist without U.N.-sanctioned investments. But Bird says there is a moral component as well.

“By approving investment in these projects, the U.N. has made itself an accomplice to a human rights crisis,” Bird says. “It’s just shameful.”

Is it any wonder that there is a growing global movement calling for the abolishing of Emissions Trading Schemes?!?

And yet, here in behind-the-times Australia, our leaders (and cheerleaders) still want to press on with “moving forward” to an internationally-linked ETS.

Weep, laugh, and gnash your teeth along with me, dear reader.

What a risible tragi-comedy our leaders and “experts” are staging here in behind-the-times Australia.

For bankers’ benefit.

At our expense.

More Proof That Support For Carbon Price Means Support For Killing Black People

9 Dec

Your humble blogger copped some flack via that paragon of intelligent public discourse (Twitter) for publishing a very similar headline in October.

Then, we saw how an Oxfam report shed light on the violent forced eviction and genocide of Ugandans by the UN-supported carbon credit ‘farming’ corporation, New Forests Company.

Today … in recognition of the final day of the UN IPCC’s warmageddonist conference in Durban, Africa … we look at a similar story from Honduras, as reported by Jeremy Kryt in the online In These Times.

Jeremy is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Journalism and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has been reporting from Honduras since August 2009, and his coverage of the crisis there has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Earth Island Journal, Huffington Post, Alternet and The Narco News Bulletin, among other publications.

Following is his report reproduced in full:

A boy stands next to a hut on a palm plantation in the Aguan Valley in August. The slogan reads "Area recovered by the MUCA," which stands for "United Peasant Movement of Aguan." (Photo by Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images)

Carbon Credits in the ‘Valley of Death’

Uncovering the ugly effects of U.N.-backed ‘clean development’ in Honduras.

AGUAN VALLEY, HONDURAS–At 3,000 square miles, the Aguan River Valley in northeastern Honduras is about the same size as California’s Death Valley. But despite being green and fertile, the Aguan basin is becoming famous as a “valley of death.” Since January 2010, at least 45 displaced peasants have been killed in clashes over land rights in Aguan, and “the actual number of killings is probably much higher,” according to Annie Bird, co-director of the human rights advocacy group Rights Action (RA), who visited Honduras in September.

Bird and other critics say that the violence in Aguan is driven by competition over resources between local farmers and large-scale, biofuel production facilities. The valley is home to more than a dozen African palm plantations that supply “green” energy to Europe and Asia, as well as a pair of biogas plants that operate as part of a United Nations carbon-credit initiative.

“The agribusinesses are after all the prime farmland in Aguan,” Bird says. “That’s what’s driving the conflict here.”

African palm plantations have also been linked to land-based violence in Indonesia, Africa, and elsewhere in Latin America, as worldwide demand for biofuels has soared in recent years. But using arable land for fuels, as opposed to food production, has caused a spike in global food prices. In October 2011, the U.N. Committee on Food Security issued a report citing biofuel production as one of the leading causes of food shortages worldwide.

Ignoring its own committee’s report, the U.N. continues to endorse the two biogas plants attached to African palm plantations in the Aguan Valley as part of its controversial Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) program. A product of the Kyoto Protocol, CDMs allow governments and companies from Western countries to trade carbon credits with businesses in developing nations that utilize renewable energy and other carbon-saving techniques. Critics of the CDM program point to the food-vs-fuel dilemma, as well as the issue of “additionality”–that is, whether or not a given CDM would exist without U.N.-sanctioned investments. But Bird says there is a moral component as well.

“By approving investment in these projects, the U.N. has made itself an accomplice to a human rights crisis,” Bird says. “It’s just shameful.”

Killings and forced evictions

Both the CDMs in Aguan use the bacteria-rich wastewater left over from palm-oil extraction to produce methane for biogas. But the methane capture process is only cost-effective on a large scale–and observers say that gives local companies a direct incentive to expand operations.

David Calix, spokesman for the Campesino Movement of Aguan (MCA), says, “Within the last two years more than 1,500 peasant families have lost their homes, schools and communities due to forceful evictions,” all of which have been linked to African Palm expansion efforts in the Aguan valley.

In July, the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) released a report on Aguan alleging evictions and armed attacks against local communities by “plantation security guards and private militia groups” allowed to act with impunity. The FIDH paper forced a couple of powerful European investors to back out of the Aguan CDM project and caused the European Parliament to order a fact-finding mission. So far, however, these measures don’t seem to have had any impact on the escalating violence.

Over just two days in August, skirmishes between guards and peasants left 11 people dead. A few days later, two more campesino leaders were assassinated–one of them, Pedro Salgado, was shot down in his home along with his wife. An entire peasant village was burned to the ground. The international outcry became so severe that in early September, the Honduran government dispatched a force of about 1,000 special police officers and soldiers to occupy the valley.

But Bird says that instead of protecting peasants’ human rights, the occupation forces have aided in their persecution. Reports have emerged of police and soldiers cracking down on peasant communities, and even taking part in evictions. “Death squad” attacks on peasants have continued at about the same pace during the occupation, with four assassinations in the same week in early October. No arrests have been made in any of the killings, and no suspects have been named.

Hazardous occupation

“The troops say they have come to bring us security, but that is a lie,” says MCA President Rodolfo Cruz. “They are here to serve the interests of the rich land owners, the same ones who control the politicians back in [the Honduran capital of] Tegucigalpa.” Cruz is also acting mayor of a small peasant community called Rigores, which he claims has been threatened several times with eviction by both security guards and law enforcement.

Cruz also reports that citizens are being searched at random, and that there have been mass round-ups and arrests as the authorities hunt down leaders of the movement.

“They are accusing us of having weapons, of forming an insurgency,” says Cruz, whose 16-year-old son, Santos, was allegedly tortured for information while in police custody on September 19. Cruz maintains that the MCA and other organizations are pacifist movements dedicated to nonviolent resistance.

Bird, who has researched the case, believes there is no doubt that Cruz’ son was targeted by authorities because his father is a prominent spokesman for land reform. “It’s all part of their pattern of intimidation,” she says. “There is no functional justice system in Honduras.” As further evidence of legal dysfunction, Bird points out that the businessman with the most holdings in Aguan, Miguel Facusse Barjum, was recently revealed by WikiLeaks to have strong ties to Colombian cocaine traffickers. “The police are evicting peasants from the property of a known drug lord,” she says. “That just shows you how rotten the system is.”

Although in September there were hints in the Honduran press that the police have captured cell phones that prove the existence of a rebel army some 300 strong, Honduran Police Chief Julio Benitez is much more circumspect. “We really don’t know what is going on in Aguan,” Avila says. “We know there are armed groups. We know people are being shot up under mysterious circumstances. But it is very complicated.”

When asked about the charges of police brutality, Avila declined to respond, saying only, “[The Honduran police] are a professional organization. We behave in a professional manner. We are working hard to safeguard the peasants of Aguan and to protect them from violent criminals.”

Push for reform

“The situation in Honduras is, of course, of great concern to us,” CDM board Chair Martin Hession says. “We don’t want to be associated with this type of thing in any way.” Hession says that as a result of the violence in Aguan, the CDM Board has “increased surveillance” in regard to approving new projects.

But Eva Filzmoser, program director of the Brussels-based CDM Watch, believes that’s too little, too late. “We are deeply disappointed … that the [Aguan] project was registered despite the serious concerns about alleged human rights abuses,” Filzmoser wrote in an e-mail.

Filzmoser charges that Hession and the rest of the board chose to ignore early reports of violence coming out of Honduras when they approved the project in July of 2011. Part of the problem is systemic, she writes, stemming from a lack of stakeholder oversight by the CDM board itself. “The [Aguan] project would never have been registered if the proper rules were in place,” Filzmoser wrote.

Bird also sees an inherent flaw in the CDM program. “If you’re taking away land from poor people to generate biofuels, you’re effectively condemning them to death by starvation,” she says.

Hession says such things are beyond the purview of the CDM board. “We can’t be the arbiter of human rights across the world.” To which Bird responds: “That’s the single, fundamental mandate of the U.N. Human rights are what the U.N. was created to promote. And the CDM board is still part of the U.N.”

For Cruz, who is also a farmer, the issue at stake is less philosophical than practical: “All we want is a place to grow our corn, to grow our beans,” he says. “All we want is a right to work the land.”

I can think of no more apropos concluding comment, than to repeat that of my October 14th Ugandan genocide post:

This is just one [more] example of the unintended (?) consequences of the universally-ignorant support by multitudes of morally self-righteous, urban rich white people, for “pricing carbon” in the name of “saving the planet”…

As has been demonstrated countless times on this blog – including from the government’s legislation – the “carbon tax” has never had anything whatsoever to do with climate change.

It is, and always has been, all about money. Derivatives, to be precise.

“Putting a price on carbon” is all about legally enabling the predatory financial sector to rape the world all over again, with a new derivatives-based ponzi scheme, after their Western world real estate derivatives bubble exploded (GFC1).

It is a very simple scam.

Carbon “pricing” creates in law a new artificial ‘commodity’ called “carbon ‘units’, having an artificially-created (by proclamation) monetary value.

Who benefits?

On the lower level, governments. The basic carbon “price” for selling (on threat of gaol) their “permits” to “pollute”, represents a new cashcow for politicians. For handing out to their mates, favouring special interests, and bribing the ever-more welfare-dependent electorate to vote for them (ie, keep them in power).

On the higher (unseen) level, the international shadow banking sector. “Pricing carbon” means they can (a) cream off billions in fees and commissions on the trade in those permits, but far more importantly (b) instantly create unlimited quantities of wholly unregulated carbon derivatives, to gamble on unregulated international trading markets.

Exactly like the Western real estate bubble.

If you support “putting a price on carbon”, then what you are really supporting is two outcomes.

Impoverishing the West.

And genocide of black people.

All for the benefit of … not the environment … but bankers.

UPDATE:

And the push to use prime agricultural land for carbon credit “farming” includes our own backyard (h/t @HiggsBoson4):

Bio Lands Pty Ltd (Bio Lands) has compiled a substantial portfolio of grazing/biodiversity offset lands. The portfolio can provide the development industry with rapid access to strategically acquired, fully documented biodiversity offsets

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And from ABC News yesterday:

Carbon farming starts today – in a limited way

Farmers can earn money from reducing carbon emissions from today.

The Federal Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative has opened for business, but there’s a catch.

Only two methods that farmers and landholders can use to cut emissions have been approved, one of which is capturing methane from piggeries.

Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change Mark Dreyfus says more methods will be approved in coming months.

“We think it’s important to take time to make sure the methodologies have integrity, because the methodologies lead to the ability to sell carbon credits and companies that are purchasing carbon credits want to know that the credits represent real emissions reductions.”

I suggest that the “integrity” of carbon credit “farming” “methodologies” is already very evident indeed. One only need cast one’s eyes around the world, at the precedents that have been set elsewhere.

“ClimateSmart” Scheme Scams Households On Carbon Credits

14 Nov

Take a look at the wonderful ClimateSmart Home Service.

See the handsome salesman on the front. With his fashionably unshaven smile. And his shiny suit –

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See the big boldface “savin’ bundles” slogan. With the big red “Book Now!” call-to-action. Leaping out against the glittering, sparkly tinsel green theme background.

It almost looks like gold money falling from heaven.

Green heaven.

And indeed it is.

But it’s not money from heaven for you, dear reader.

It’s money from heaven for the government.

Because this particular carbon credit scam is brought to you by Local Government Infrastructure Services Pty Ltd.

A company that is owned by the Queensland Labor Government’s Queensland Treasury Corporation:

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Oh yes, it all looks very plausible, very convincing … provided that you first ignore the fashionably attractive model, the winning smile, the shiny suit, the catchy slogan, the big red call-to-action, the chintzy money-from-heaven background, and the nausea-inducing “Saving Bundles” downloadable ringtone that all shriek “Too good to be true”.

Indeed, ignore these telltale signs, and it looks like a wonderful deal to save you money. And save the planet. And all “for just $50”.

Provided that you only look at the What You Get page.

Delve carefully beneath the surface, however, and what you find is the truth.

It is a government-run carbon credit scam.

If you allow yourself to be moved and guided by self-interest and greed … the goal behind every sales pitch … then all you will see is What’s In It For Me.

Your ears will be tuned to Radio WII FM.

And you will fail to notice the fine print.

For example.

You will fail to notice that the “4 stand-by eliminators with remote control” retail for about $50 including postage … if you believe the government fine print:

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You will fail to notice that the “water and power saving showerhead” retails for “around $30” … if you believe the government fine print:

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You will fail to notice that the government has told you that they will only give you the new showerhead if your existing one uses “more than 9 litres per minute” …

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… and that the government is only giving you a new one rated at … 9 litres per minute:

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You will fail to notice that the government has not told you that a ‘3 Star’ WELS rated showerhead is the lowest of the new 3-6 star WELS ratings, and that a 6 Star rated showerhead would use only 6 litres per minute (33.3% less):

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You will fail to notice that all prices mentioned on the ClimateSmart website are only government-claimed retail prices, and that when bought by a government in bulk … from China no doubt … the true cost of each item would be chicken feed.

Indeed, you will fail to notice that while telling you the retail value is “around $30”, the government is only offering to supply a basic 3 star “showerhead”, which you can buy yourself at Bunnings for $15.23…

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… and you will fail to notice that you can buy a fancier one at Bunnings, with 3-function adjustable spray, and a new height adjustable arm and baseplate, for just $24.95:

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You will fail to notice that the “up to 5 power saving light globes (CFL)” the government will supply (but not install)…

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… can be bought at Bunnings for $5.70 each:

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You will fail to notice that the government continues to treat you like a dumb worthless peasant, by only offering you “up to 5” non-dimmable CFL light globes, supposedly because “the available technology is too expensive to be provided as part of this program”…

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… even though you can buy a higher wattage, dimmable CFL from Bunnings for just $10.50:

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You will fail to notice that the government has not given any indication of the retail cost of the “wireless power monitor”:

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You will also fail to notice that the “wireless power monitor” is just a gimmick that even the government concedes (in the fine print) “provides indicative electricity costs” only (ie, guesses); an “information tool” of dubious efficacy that can not be used to calculate your actual electricity costs … even though the promo page of the government website claims “it is a handy little device that shows you exactly how much electricity you are using“:

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Instead, you will probably be taken in by the glowing rhetoric about fancy features, and in the absence of any government claims as to its retail cost, you will probably be fooled into assuming that this power monitor is the greatest thing since sliced bread and must surely be an expensive high-tech device … especially if you are an older person easily impressed and/or overwhelmed by electronic gadgetry.

And so you will fail to notice that, of the 3 different “wireless power monitor” models on offer…

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… you can buy the same models on eBay for around $80 including shipping:

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You will fail to observe the reality that you are not even getting the “services” for free, because the cost of paying the “licensed electrician” to come out and assess your home power usage, and install these crappy bottom-of-the-range eco-products (about 2 min “work”), is actually paid for by the government … meaning by you, through your taxes:

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You will also fail to observe that the “customised power and water savings plan” is not free either, because just like every government “service”, ultimately it will be paid for by you, through your taxes:

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And if perchance you do go to all the trouble of noting the details of the offer, and then shopping around for price comparisons, to determine if you really are getting a good deal with all these lovely gimmicks the government is offering you “for just $50”, only to discover that all you are really getting is

$50 (stand-by eliminators) +

$15.23 (showerhead) +

$28.50 (light globes) +

$80 (power monitor) =

$173.73 “worth” (cough!) of crappy and potentially toxic products, plus a couple of ephemeral “services” you don’t need that you will ultimately pay for anyway in higher taxes, well then, it is almost certain that you will not have time nor energy left over to notice the most important fine print detail of all.

What does the government get out of this “ClimateSmart” deal?

Carbon credits.

More specifically, the rights to your household’s future carbon abatement.

When you sign the ClimateSmart contract, you are signing over all rights and entitlements arising from any greenhouse gas or energy abatement resulting from or relating to the Products. The abatement will then be transferred to the Queensland State Government”:

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I’ll bet that not 1 in 10,000 ClimateSmart customers understand what they really signed up to.

Because like all scams, that vital detail is not presented in boldface slogans, and splashed all over the front of the “offer”.

In fact, it is not stated anywhere that you are likely to look.

It is hidden in the fine print … where all scammers know that most people never look.

Have you signed up to the ClimateSmart scheme scam?

Feeling a little miffed with the Queensland Labor Government right now?

Then you will also have failed to notice the one sentence in the entire ClimateSmart website – carefully buried in the answer to a so-called “Frequently Asked Question” that few if any would bother asking, much less seek the answer for – that reveals what the ClimateSmart scheme really is.

A carbon credit scam.

The Federal Green-Labor Government will “accrue carbon credits for the installation of water efficient showerheads”:

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Now, given that the Federal Government has just jammed a carbon derivatives scam deceitfully titled the “Clean Energy Future” down our collective throats, and under this Queensland Labor Government ClimateSmart scam they can now accrue carbon credits from your having a shower, well, you’d like to think that they’d at least have the decency to give you a 5 or 6 Star WELS-rated showerhead, rather than bottom-of-the-range 3 Star junk, wouldn’t you?

Indeed, you’d like to think that any honest person with a shred of conscience and decency would state clearly on the front of their website … in big bold letters … what it is that they are really offering –

ClimateSmart Home Service:  For just $50 of your hard-earned money … AND your signature handing over all your household’s rights and entitlements to any future carbon abatement credits … we’ll give a bunch of eco-crap that you could buy yourself on eBay and at Bunnings for about $175. It’s all bottom-of-the-range rubbish that we bought for next-to-nothing by the container load from China. But it will make you feel good about yourself to do this, and will help assuage a little of the climate guilt trip that we’ve laid on you day-in day-out for years. You can even imagine that it’s helping you reduce the rate at which your electricity bill is inevitably and irresistibly going through the roof, thanks to our new Bob Brown-mandated Big Bankster Bonus-facilitating carbon tax.

Think you’ve been conned?

Want to seek legal redress over being defrauded … a huge class action perhaps?

I guess you also failed to notice the “Disclaimer – Limitation of Liability” in the Terms and Conditions of the ClimateSmart contract:

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So you see, dear reader, while regular businesspeople are subject to all manner of laws against misleading and deceptive conduct, such as the new Competition And Consumer Act 2010 (formerly known as the Trade Practices Act 1974), when it comes to politicians, they really are a law unto themselves.

As you can see in the fine print, if you suffer “any expense, damage, loss or costs… as a result of use of or reliance on the content of” the government’s ClimateSmart website, that’s too bad for you.

You’ve been conned.

Legally.

As only government can do … and get away with.

Not only did you pay $50 to sign away your rights to any carbon credits arising from your future household carbon abatement, in exchange for some near-worthless low-grade eco-trinkets.

You also signed your acknowledgement that the government’s website is not responsible or liable for your loss … even though you relied on their website content for the information that led to your decision.

And there you were, thinking that all you were signing was a form granting your permission for that nice friendly-looking “electrician” to turn down your hot water service thermostat, and put a couple of  gadgets in your meter box and power points.

“Get all this! (and more)”

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Indeed.

Now you know, dear reader.

The “and more”, is the financial rape-and-pillaging that you are getting from the government.

The Great Global Warming Hoax is money from heaven.

Green heaven.

But not for you.

The Big Green money is only for Big governments, and in particular, for the Big Banksters and rent-seekers behind the push for global carbon derivatives trading.

When I say “heaven”, I don’t mean it metaphorically.

Like the tax on thin air, carbon credits come right out of thin air too.

Because carbon credits are not even real. They do not exist.

Just like the “money” that you think you have in your bank account, carbon credits are just computer-generated electronic digits.

It’s all a con-fidence trick.

Which is why all our economic luminaries in the Treasury and the RBA and the “expert” financial media – the very same ideologically-blinded, highly-paid and publicly lauded useful idiots who could not foresee the GFC – are always banging on about “maintaining con-fidence”, and “increasing con-fidence”. Or when things are turning or have turned to poo … then it’s all about “restoring con-fidence”.

Con-fidence in their system.

The bankster system.

You are a slave to their debt-based “money” system – “credit” created in a computer and “loaned” to you at interest in exchange for a signed contract to become a working slave to a bank.

And soon, you will be a slave to their new version of the same system – “carbon credits” created in a computer, and sold by the government on threat of 10 years jail for non-compliance, to businesses who will pass the cost on to you … with “padding”.

Just like the need for public “con-fidence” in the banksters’ electronic debt-based “money” system, there is a need for “con-fidence” in their electronic carbon credit system.

As we saw in Government’s RIS Admits Carbon Emissions “Audits” A Propaganda Exercise, the government is far more concerned with public con-fidence in the efficacy of their “carbon pollution reduction” scheme scam, than they are with actually reducing emissions:

7.4    Ensuring compliance with reporting requirements

Under the proposed reporting requirements liable entities will report on their own emissions. As they will also have to acquire (buy) permits to cover these emissions, they will have an incentive to underreport their emissions…

If there was a perception of widespread non-compliance, community support for the scheme would be much harder to maintain (in the absence of community acceptance and support, the long term future of the scheme could be called into question). At an international level, confidence in the legitimacy of the emissions reductions driven by the scheme is a key consideration in whether other countries will be willing to ’link’ with the Australian scheme. International linking is an important element in reducing the overall costs of the scheme…

Finally, business perceptions of compliance by other businesses with the scheme could have implications for their own compliance. That is, if one emitter believes that other emitters are non-compliant with the scheme, this may influence their compliance decisions.

In closing, it is important to note that, in considering impacts on the credibility of the scheme, perceptions of non-compliance can be more important than the actual level of non-compliance

While perceptions of non compliance should be linked to actual levels of non-compliance, this need not be the case. Importantly Government actions to ensure compliance can improve perceptions of compliance with the mechanism even in the absence of widespread non-compliance. For instance, even if there were widespread compliance with the carbon pricing mechanism, the absence of an auditing mechanism could lead some stakeholders to question the accuracy of reported emissions. This would have impacts on confidence with the carbon pricing mechanism even in the absence of widespread non-compliance.

It’s all about public perceptions.

And thus … perception management.

The Clean Energy Future legislation is nothing more than a con-fidence trick.

It is a banker-designed, and Green-Labor government (not public) mandated carbon derivatives scam.

And the Queensland Government’s ClimateSmart Home Service scheme scam is just one of what will doubtless be many crooked variations and offshoots of the same Ponzi theme.

Money from heaven.

But not for you.

(h/t to Twitter follower @IanRobert_60 for drawing our attention to the ClimateSmart scheme)

It Begins – Opposition Takes Up The Fight Against The Bankster Class

15 Jul

At last, dear reader.

It begins.

The Opposition beginning to highlight the real purpose behind the global push for trading “hot air”.

The enrichment … and further empowerment … of the global bankster class –

Note that well:

But one of the things that I really want to draw people’s attention to today is the fact that we are learning more and more about just how much money is going to go overseas under this tax. It was obvious on Sunday that in 2020 more than $3 billion was going to go overseas to foreign carbon traders to meet the Government’s emissions abatement targets but if you go out just 40 years to 2050, no less than $57 billion of Australian money is going to go overseas to line the pockets of foreign carbon traders. Within a relatively short time, more than one per cent of Australia’s GDP is going to go overseas to line the pockets of foreign carbon traders. Now, all of us want to help the environment but a get-rich-quick scheme for foreign carbon traders is not the kind of environmental assistance that Australians want. So, I just think that as each day goes past and more details of the Government’s carbon tax package become apparent the less the Australian public like it.

I hope that readers will forgive me a little moment of fantasy. A small, petty indulgence.

In my imagining the teensy possibility that my discussion with Senator Joyce just 2 weeks ago may have just a weensy bit of influence on this small shift of emphasis, in the campaign against the carbon “X” scheme scam.

I met Senator Joyce for the first time on July 1, at the Martin Place No Carbon Tax rally. Despite the pressures of so many wishing to speak with him – as you can imagine – he was gracious enough to make time available to speak with me about several concerns.

The chief of those concerns relates to my view that regular readers will be familiar with.

That is, my firm view – now confirmed by the evidence of the final package – that this carbon “X” scam is and always has been a scam designed solely to benefit bankers, from Day 1.

And therefore, it has also been my view that there is great opportunity for the Opposition to take advantage of Julia’s recent to-ing and fro-ing over whether the scheme is really a “tax”, “like a tax”, or … “an emissions trading scheme”.

How?

By emphasising the simple, demonstrable fact that an ETS only benefits the banksters, and speculators.

And further, that emissions trading has been shown to have zero impact on reducing actual emissions of CO2

Why do I believe it is so important to emphasise the bankster connection?

The reason is this.

While calling the scheme a “tax” has been very effective to date, in appealing to those of a conservative mindset – who in my view are generally predisposed to an ideology of lower taxes – I do not believe it is the most effective strategy for appealing to those of a more so-called “progressive” mindset.

It is my experience that “progressives” are not necessarily predisposed against bigger taxes – provided they can be convinced that it is in “a good cause”.

That is exactly how The Final Solution to global warming – the Great Global Carbon Trading Scam – has been sold to those of a “progressive” bent.

That it is “a tax” … or “like a tax” … that is “the best way” to “save the planet”.

A Robin Hood scheme, that takes from the rich, and gives to the poor, saving the planet in the process.

And so-called “progressives” have lapped this lie up.

It is also my experience that, in Australia at least, pretty much everyone … hates banks.

And it is my observation that so-called “progressives” are often their most fervent opponents.

In my discussion with Senator Joyce, I put this argument forward, and whilst congratulating him on his own frequent mentions of “bankers making fees and commissions from pushing bits of paper around”, impressed on Senator Joyce my view that the Coalition should raise the emphasis on the role of banksters in the Government’s planned scheme.

I explained my view that the polls clearly show those of a “conservative” bent are now very firmly against this scheme, irrespective of what title is given.

And that I firmly believe a significant raising of emphasis on the galactic-scale profit-making opportunity that the Scheme scam represents for global banksters – who are driving the push for global “hot air” trading – may be the best way to now begin appealing to “progressives” and the “undecided”. Using a touchstone for nearly all Aussies, conservative or progressive.

Hatred of banks.

I also suggested my view to Senator Joyce, that the Opposition should begin to do so only after a suitable interlude from the day of our discussion, being the day after Julia’s first backflip on what this scheme really is, a “tax” or an “ETS” .

An interlude of a week or two.

And here we are.

Exactly 2 weeks later.

Pure coincidence, I am sure.

But I do trust readers will understand my choosing to enjoy a little moment of vanity indulgence, on seeing the above statements by Tony Abbott yesterday 😉

Please do spread the word, to all you know.

That our Green-Labor-Independent government’s scheme, is nothing more than a global bankster scam.

As I am confident that one former Goldman Sachs Australia chairman (and “confidential” beneficiary of their deep pockets), Malcolm Turnbull MP well knows.

China, India Receive Free UN Carbon Credits For Coal-Fired Power Plants

15 Jul

The following article was brought to my attention by a reader, who has also provided a copy of his related letter to Greg Hunt MP (below).

The implications of this story for Australia’s public policy on addressing “climate change” are profound.

In effect, what the following revelation means is this.

Australia, under our Green-Labor-Independent dictatorship, will be deliberately undermining our own coal-fired electricity sector via the Government’s no-mandate imposition of a carbon “X” scheme; we will then be buying some $3 Billion per annum worth of carbon dioxide credits from countries such as China and India; they will be able to sell us their UN-provided free carbon credits, while at the same time, buying our coal to burn in their UN-subsidised coal-fired powerplants.

Read on, and be stunned at the insanity of green totalitarianism’s global policy of reduce-all-to-the-lowest-common-denominator:

Environmentalists criticized the United Nations on Tuesday after it ruled that a large Indian coal-fired power project is eligible to earn carbon credits worth $165 million at current prices.

Several green organizations said the U.N. rules, or methodology, applied to the 4,000 MW supercritical plant owned by Reliance Power were flawed and that the project was viable without the sweeteners of tradable carbon credits called certified emissions reductions (CERs).

The power station, in Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, is the second Reliance Power project to be formally registered by the United Nations under its Clean Development Mechanism.

In total, five high-efficiency coal power plants have been registered under the CDM — four in India and one in China — meaning they are all eligible to earn CERs that they can sell.

The five registered power projects involve two from Reliance Power totaling 8,000 MW, two projects totaling 2,640 MW from Adani Power and a 2,000 MW ultra-supercritical plant by Shenergy in China.

According to U.N. data, the five projects are eligible to receive a total of 68.2 million CERs over a 10-year crediting period. That is worth 661 million euros ($919 million) based on current prices of CERs traded on the European Climate Exchange of 9.70 euros.

Reliance’s Krishnapatnam plant will receive 12.3 million CERs and the firm’s other 4,000 MW plant, Sasan Power in Madhya Pradesh, will receive 22.5 million.

You read that right.

5 coal-fired powerplants in China and India are to receive hundreds of millions worth of free carbon credits from the UN.

They will profit from selling those free permits – quite possibly to Australia, thanks to our Government’s plan to deliberately undermine our international competitiveness – while burning our coal in their power plants.

The reader who kindly provided the link to the above article has also provided a copy of his letter to Opposition Climate Action spokesman, Greg Hunt MP. Regular readers will be familiar with Mr Hunt’s penchant for equivocation and obfuscation when challenged, from his recent exchange with your humble blogger ( “Letter To Greg Hunt MP” ), and so will not be at all surprised to learn that his response to our reader’s letter was similarly brief, obfuscatory, and inane.

Please read on for further insights into the cold hard reality, that our card-carrying Green cargo-cult politicians all wilfully choose to ignore –

Hi,

Firstly please don’t think I am going to bombard you with emails, I’m not – far too busy for a kickoff! 🙂 but this is too insane and serious to not bring to your attention.

http://www.eco-business.com/news/carbon-credits-for-india-coal-
power-plant-stoke-criticism/

A massive coal-based project in India is now earning carbon credits in the hundreds of thousands a year, the exact opposite outcome of our carbon tax from the same basic facts.

What is significant in this is that local coal producers and users such as energy plants are being smashed by the carbon tax, which is based directly (allegedly) on UN guidelines, the IPCC and the Clean Development Mechanism Kyoto Protocols.

So how can the same “rules” credit coal plants in India and lead to our coal plants being taxed to hell and gone?

That clearly means there is a misapplication of the rules, and a fatally serious one, either in India, or here.

If it’s in India, the whole credit system at the UN is called into question. If that’s the case, our own carbon tax is following a dead end and has to stop immediately.

If the problem is here, we must immediately adopt changes to the proposed carbon law (or better yet kill it, but…) so as to reflect the same rulings here as India enjoys. In the process, that would, through carbon accounting, greatly reduce our carbon footprint, at the stroke of a pen, rather than through merciless economic warfare on our engine room industries.

There is a very VERY lively insider discussion on this in the carbon trade industry right now. Ugly arguments over carbon accounting and carbon auditing, the principle of additionality and just exactly what we wouldn’t want if the ETS type approach is to work.

Madness.

What is particularly serious about this situation is that the DCCEE should have been all over this issue like a cheap suit. To the best of my knowledge no one from junior time server up to the minister even has the faintest clue this situation has occurred. I did try and tell them a year ago but they are yet to reply to that email.

How ironic.

If the Gillard gang do what the do best – nothing – we will be in a situation where our own government is penalising our coal industry, AND forcing them to buy credits after a few years of soaking them with a tax… At the exact same time as India not only does not have a penalty tax (their carbon tax on coal is a pittance), but they are now allowed to earn credits from coal. Coal is the most abundantly used industrial fuel source in India and its region.

This means they will now be paid by the UN carbon trade to use coal, be allowed to trade in credits freely, escape any of their own taxation, and see our own coal industry become totally and completely irrevocably non competitive.

This carbon tax has scaled the dizzying heights of lunacy in less than a week, and I say that as a carbon trader. This is just nuts.

I am back in Australia as of Saturday, and am making myself available at once to brief any or all of you or any coal industry personnel who need to understand this. This has got no press but it is a big deal. It empowers India (and China) to triple dip on their coal use whilst the bozo gillard government destroys Australia’s power base.

Politically I also hope this can be used to devastating effect during La Gillard’s “Endless Bummer” walking tour of Australia. I know the situation described is somewhat technical but it comes down to this:

Why are we taxing coal into oblivion under the same system that is rewarding India for using coal?

We will end up buying credits for our coal from India’s coal. Huh?

China will follow India in this.

China will then be exploiting our down spiral economy by buying coal cheap, earning credits on that coal in China, then selling the credits back to us. HUH?

The DCCEE is ASLEEP! And that’s probably good because when they’re awake- something in our economy dies.

All the best to you, and if this has been any use at all I am very glad.

(Name withheld for privacy)

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