“You couldn’t design a better instrument for corruption as far as we can work out,”
Now the Telegraph reports what has happened in India:
Hundreds of millions of dollars in carbon credits were awarded to Indian companies even though they did not reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The allegation comes according to an American diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks.
The cable, from July 2008, raised serious questions about the UN-backed carbon trading scheme to cut global warming, under which companies in wealthy countries can buy emission reduction "credits" from firms in the developing world instead of improving their operations.
To qualify for saleable credits the companies in the developing world must demonstrate their emission reductions go beyond their "business as usual" plans.
India has become the world's second largest source of carbon credits or Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) and has attracted foreign companies who trade them to the West.
This Indian expert knows what she is talking about:
Sunita Narain of India's Centre for Science and Environment, said the cable highlighted the dishonesty of the carbon credit system but added that India was no more guilty than those measuring the emission reductions in projects.
"This is not an Indian problem it's been designed not to deal with climate change but for creative carbon accounting to benefit a lot of certifiers. We call it the corrupt development mechanism," she said.