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<http://www.manufacturing.net/News/FeedsAP/2010/08/mnet-industry-focus-energy-un-board-could-rein-in-27-billion-carbon-market/>http://www.manufacturing.net/News/FeedsAP/2010/08/mnet-industry-focus-energy-un-board-could-rein-in-27-billion-carbon-market/

UN May Rein In Carbon Trading Scam
JOHN HEILPRIN - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press
Manufacturing.Net - August 23, 2010


       
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- An obscure U.N. board that oversees a $2.7 
billion market intended to cut heat-trapping gases has agreed to take 
steps that could lead to it eventually reining in what European and 
U.S. environmentalists are calling a huge scam.
	At a meeting this week that ended Friday, the executive board 
of the U.N.'s Clean Development Mechanism said that five chemical 
plants in China would no longer qualify for funding as so-called 
carbon offset credits until the environmentalists' claims can be 
further investigated.
	The "CDM" credits have been widely used in the carbon trading 
markets of the European Union, Japan and other nations that signed 
onto the 1997 Kyoto Protocol requiring mandatory cuts in greenhouse 
gases.
Rather than cut their own carbon emissions, industrialized nations 
can buy the credits which then pay developing countries to cut their 
greenhouse gases instead.
	But environmentalists say rich nations could be wasting 
billions of dollars on what some are calling "perverse financial 
incentives," because some of the largest projects funded by the 
U.N.-managed CDM are a golden goose for chemical makers without 
making meaningful cuts in emissions.
	The CDM executive board, based in Bonn, Germany, has asked 
for a decades' worth of data on the gases from those five plants in 
China to study whether the system was manipulated.
	The controversy revolves around the apparent conflict between 
the Kyoto climate treaty and another U.N. treaty, the 1987 Montreal 
Protocol for repairing the Earth's fragile ozone layer.
	The money from the CDM-authorized fund goes to pay the carbon 
offset credits claimed by more than 20 chemical makers mostly in 
China and India, but also in nations such as South Korea, Argentina 
and Mexico.
	The chemical makers are paid as much as $100,000 or more for 
every ton they destroy of a potent greenhouse gas, HFC-23.  The price 
for destroying it is based on its being 11,700 times more powerful as 
a climate-warming gas than carbon dioxide.
	But that gas is a byproduct of an ozone-friendly refrigerant, 
HCFC-22, which those chemical makers also are paid to produce under 
the U.N.'s ozone treaty.  Environmentalists say there is so much 
money in getting rid of HFC-23 that the chemical makers are 
overproducing HCFC-22 to have more of the byproduct to destroy.
	"The evidence is overwhelming that manufacturers are creating 
excess HFC-23 simply to destroy it and earn carbon credits," said 
Mark Roberts of the Environmental Investigation Agency, a research 
and advocacy group.	"This is the biggest environmental scandal in 
history and makes an absolute mockery of international efforts to 
combat climate change.
	HCFC-22 is widely used in hair sprays, air conditioners and 
some refrigerators because it less damaging to the seasonal ozone 
hole over Antarctica than previous coolants.  It has been promoted 
under the ozone treaty, often considered one of the world's most 
successful environmental treaties, as a replacement for 
chloroflourocarbons [sic ], or CFCs.