Carbon Credits Company Scam

Who would have thought these carbon credit schemes were a giant rort? Creative accounting can cover up things for a while – just ask any Government.

  • Carbon Credits Company Scam

    Sydney Morning Herald, 8 April 2011

    A SYDNEY carbon credits company thought to have been running
    some of the world’s biggest offsets deals appears to be a fake, shifting paper
    certificates instead of saving forests and cutting greenhouse emissions.

    Shift2neutral says it has made high-profile events such as
    the Australian PGA golf championship and the Sydney Turf Club’s world-first
    ”green race day” carbon neutral.

    But deals to generate more than $1 billion worth of carbon
    credits by saving jungles from logging in the Philippines, the Congo and across
    south-east Asia do not seem to exist.

    The global network of investors and carbon offset certifiers
    supposed to be brokering deals with foreign presidents and the World Bank can
    be traced to a modest office in a shopping village in Westleigh, staffed by
    shift2neutral’s founder, Brett Goldsworthy.

    Mr Goldsworthy insists every certificate for carbon offsets
    he issues has value and represents a real reduction in greenhouse emissions
    somewhere in the world. That is what he has told puzzled investors and
    companies who have unwittingly sought to reduce their carbon footprint.

    But when pressed for examples of any specific project that
    has cut emissions to generate the carbon credits the company offers for sale,
    he was unable to provide even one.

    ”I just don’t have that information in front of me right
    now – there are all sorts of projects, it is all legit, I just am not in a
    position to tell you what they are at short notice,” said Mr Goldsworthy, who
    had been provided with written questions 24 hours before.

    ”There was a waste-to-energy plant in Korea, it would have
    been in about 2008. I don’t have a name for you right now, but given time I can
    get all the information.”

    He said none of his clients had ever raised concerns about
    where his carbon credits were coming from. But the Herald has spoken to many
    former investors and businesses who have dealt with shift2neutral.

    ”I realised there was something strange about Brett when we
    were negotiating with the tribes in the Philippines and he said he had a
    boatload of commandos waiting offshore in case he needed a ‘hot extraction’,”
    said Robert Hick, who invested in shift2neutral.

    The deal, supposedly to preserve $1 billion worth of tribal
    jungle in Mindanao with financial support from the World

    Bank, fell through. Mr Hick is still waiting to see a
    return.

    Mr Goldsworthy, who is in a dispute with Mr Hick, claims
    delicate negotiations with the president of the Philippines are still under
    way. He said an arrest warrant had been issued for Mr Hick. But court papers
    make it clear there is no warrant for Mr Hick.

    Redd monitor, a website that examines global implementation
    of the UN’s reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation program, said
    shift 2neutral is not generating any carbon credits.

    ”If these deals were genuine, shift2neutral would be one of
    the biggest companies in the REDD world,” said a spokesman, Chris Lang. ”Yet
    he seems to be a one-man band running his company from an office over a
    shopping centre in a suburb of Sydney.

    ”Mr Goldsworthy has no experience whatsoever in carrying
    out forest conservation projects in the tropics.

    ”In fact he has provided no details about how he intends to
    reduce deforestation in the areas where he has projects. Vic Vidal, chairman of
    the Tribal Coalition of Mindanao, points out the destruction of the forests
    continued regardless of what shift2neutral was doing.”

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