EU carbon credit theft encourages tighter control

Stephen Beard Jan 21, 2011
HTML EMBED:
COPY

EU carbon credit theft encourages tighter control

Stephen Beard Jan 21, 2011
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: European officials are investigating the disappearance of around 2 million so-called carbon credits. The theft has disrupted Europe’s $120 billion a year market to trade pollution credits.

From London, Marketplace’s Stephen Beard reports.


STEPHEN BEARD: Cyberthieves hacked into some databases that serve Europe’s carbon-trading scheme. The largest such scheme in the world, it plays a key role in the EU’s fight against climate change. Thousands of companies here can buy and sell permits which allow them to emit more CO2. Putting a price on carbon makes it profitable to cut emissions. But after this week’s $40 million theft, the EU has halted all spot trading in the permits for at least a week. There is a suspicion that insiders may be behind the theft.

Trevor Sikorski is a carbon analyst with Barclays Capital. He says the five year old market is too loosely controlled.

TREVOR SIKORSKI: We do need to tighten up access to the registries and make sure that everyone who’s in this market is professionally regulated.

The market in carbon permits has already been plagued by fraud. The latest scam is a further blow to its credibility.

In London this is Stephen Beard for marketplace.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.