surprise finding – the carbon market is being rorted!

Europe’s greenhouse gas market has shown that investments by rich countries into clean-energy projects in poor nations are not always the best way to cut emissions blamed for global warming, the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress reported.

In the European Union’s greenhouse gas market, the world’s largest, many polluters have sought to meet government-imposed emissions limits by investing in projects through the U.N.’s Clean Development Mechanism.

The mechanism allows polluters in rich countries to claim credits back home by investing in projects such as hydropower in Brazil or destruction of refrigerant gases in China.

Such projects are called carbon offsets by players in the $100 billion carbon market because they aim to reduce a polluter’s carbon footprint by cutting emissions elsewhere.

Some offset credits were awarded for projects that would have occurred even in the absence of the CDM, despite a rigorous screening process, the report said.

Heat Is Online – The Guardian (U.K.), Dec. 2, 2008