So Gareth’s in high dudgeon again. But this is not worth his ire: what he describes is nothing on the cheating Chinese.
Companies there have been caught out making mind-boggling bags of money. In a bold-as-brass scam under the Clean Development Mechanism, the UN has been paying them to destroy a refrigerant gas that has a very strong greenhouse effect.
What’s wrong with that, you might ask? Simply that they didn’t need the gas—they’ve been making it only to destroy it.
Individual Chinese companies have been raking in up to $40 million a year each by making refrigerant gas they don’t need then destroying it. The UN gives them the cash for being good green companies, but the money comes directly from we long-suffering taxpayers in well-organised, hard-working western countries, since we’re the ones who pay hefty UN fees—poor countries pay a pittance.
Our minor, entirely legal and predictable use of carbon credits isn’t at all in the same league as the Chinese (and Argentinian, Indian, Mexican, South Korean and Russian) cheating, and it will rather peeve many Kiwis to hear Morgan categorise our decisions as faulty. Without the CDM incentives the Chinese wouldn’t have manufactured the gas in the first place. That represents military-grade fraud.
The system of carbon credits is created by international treaties agreed by 195 countries with pure hearts and a clean conscience. Why should Gareth Morgan denounce us for using a mechanism created by the international community and made available to everyone? The majority of the dodgy Russian and Ukrainian offsets (and not all were dodgy) were sold to the European Union’s Emissions Trading System (the EU ETS). Morgan seems to want to let them off the hook.
Anyway, we can relax about the fraudulent gas credits now, because the Chinese are being paid $380 million under the Montreal Protocol (that’s the one saving the ozone layer) to close down their miscreant companies by 2030. It’s taking a long time, costing another heap of cash, and it’s more like a reward than a punishment—but that’s the United Nations.
The United Nations needs a searching inquiry. Say, who do we know with a bit of clout at the UN?