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Carbon Credits ‘Questionable’; Truckers Earning Carbon Offsets

Most carbon credits certified in India are “questionable” and do not represent real greenhouse gas reductions, according to a Wikileaks cable.

An American diplomatic cable from July 2008, described in the Daily Telegraph, quoted a senior Indian carbon credit assessor as saying that no Indian projects meet international standards for carbon credits. R K Sethi, head of India’s Clean Development Mechanism Authority, said the agency simply took project developers at their word when approving applications for carbon credits, and he called for rules to be loosened.

India is the world’s second largest source of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs).

Eva Filzmoser of CDM Watch said she was concerned that 33 coal power plants were among 1700 carbon credit project bids in India. Four of the coal-fired stations have been approved so far, out of a total 700 approved projects.

In other carbon finance news, a cooperative of trucking companies and heavy equipment operators in British Columbia is capitalizing on reductions in fuel use by selling carbon offsets to the Pacific Carbon Trust, the Vancouver Sun reports.

The 23 companies, calling themselves the Carbon Offset Aggregation Co-operative of B.C., signed a five-year deal with the trust. The credits have a value of $12 to $13 per ton of carbon.

The companies burn 50 million litres of diesel in their equipment each year, and chair MaryAnn Arcand said members can cut consumption by 10 to 20 per cent. They plan to reduce fuel use through technical and mechanical changes to equipment as well as operator awareness. With new control systems, companies won’t have to keep heavy equipment operating all night – a common practice during the cold Canadian winters.

And Arcand said the program could even lead to a new kind of eco-label, with big home improvement stores expressing interest in green-certifying participant loggers.

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6 thoughts on “Carbon Credits ‘Questionable’; Truckers Earning Carbon Offsets

  1. I’m surprised by Environmental Leader for publishing an article that suggests rather negative connotations regarding carbon offsets in India, all the while relying on data, which is in excess of three years old. A great deal has happened in the carbon market over the past three years to improve the rigor of credits, both CDM and in the voluntary carbon market.

  2. It is important to report the possibility that carbon offset purchases and related activities may not be valid. While I remain optimisitc about the evolution of addressing carbon emmissions, we cannot assume compliance and recognize the need for validation. The business of sustainability is susceptible to all the vagaries of human behaviour, so, congratulations EL for exposing a little of the underbelly.

  3. Carbon Trade is, as all other forms of business, exposed to various malpractice. It is incumbent upon the global standardization organizations to provide and enforce the structures that must underpin Carbon Trade leveraging as stick and carrot measures for the reduction of the global carbon print and economic benefits for the effort to mitigate Carbon Emissions.
    EL is on point to highlight the exposure to lack of standardized practices and slackened local regulations.

  4. The whole idea of carbon trading is a perversion of the idea of carbon emissions reduction.
    If you are emitting too much carbon, why should you be able to continue to do so by buying your way out of “fixing the problem”, and passing the costs on to your customers?
    On the other side, if you have reduced your carbon emissions, you have most likely reduced your fuel costs too, and are more profitable, so why should you doubly profit?
    The consumer pays for it, and gets very little if anything back for his extra cost.

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