10 Dec 2008

Carbon-offset Fraud Incompetence

via Nature:
Based in Oslo, Det Norske Veritas has in the past four years validated and certified almost half of the 1,200 projects approved under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). At its meeting on 28 November in PoznaƄ, the CDM's executive board temporarily withdrew Det Norske Veritas's accreditation after a spot check carried out in early November at the firm's headquarters revealed serious flaws in project management.


Critics of CDM have long warned of possible conflicts of interest, pointing out that private companies such as Det Norske Veritas have a business interest in not deterring customers by being too critical about proposed projects.
As I have pointed out [here and here], carbon offsets are a murky business. This suspension does not appear to result from outright fraud, but lazy certification methodology and controls. I am guessing that the suspension will be reversed in a few months -- if only because the UN wants the CDM to continue (whether it works or not!)

Bottom Line: Tax carbon -- it's simpler to understand and harder to defraud.

Addendum: To learn how more, register for Voluntary Carbon Markets USA! It's only $2,800 for the two day Conference and Voluntary Carbon Markets 101 (or and Biodiversity) Seminar! What a deal! (Is this where I agree with the predictions that carbon will be the new investment bubble? Ok, I see bubble coming...)