Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Leaked World Bank report confirms carbon market collapse" and a Bit-o-fraud

Well duh.*
From Redd-Monitor:

In a recent draft report, the World Bank writes that “The value of transactions in the primary CDM market declined sharply in 2009 and further in 2010 … amid chronic uncertainties about future mitigation targets and market mechanisms after 2012.”

The report, titled, “Mobilizing Climate Finance”, was prepared for the G20 meetings in November 2011. According to John Vidal, writing in The Guardian, the draft “is likely to provide a template for action in the UN climate talks that resume in Panama next week, in preparation for a major meeting of 194 countries in Durban in November.” The report can be downloaded here (pdf file 1.1 MB).

The report is not only about trading carbon, but it does demonstrate two things very clearly. First, the mess that carbon markets are currently in, and second, the World Bank’s obsession with carbon markets.
In his speech at CIFOR’s Forests Indonesia Conference this week, Andrew Steer, the World Bank’s special envoy for climate change, mentioned the report in passing:
“We’ve just done some analysis, and we’ve written a paper, for the G20 finance ministers. If the world decides to do what’s necessary to get on to a two degree path, about US$100 billion will be flowing each year from rich countries to the developing world through carbon offset markets at a price of US$25 to US$50 a ton.”
Here’s the table in the leaked World Bank report for the G20, from which Steer gets his figures:

Steer’s figure of US$100 billion a year hides more than it reveals. In his speech, Steer did not mention that this is the anticipated figure for 2020. In fact, he made it sound as if this might happen considerably sooner. His previous sentence was, “my prediction is that we will find a very robust carbon market four years from today.”

Perhaps the most relevant statement is found in the notes to this table: “The results reflect various assumptions that are spelled out in the report and would vary widely according the scenarios adopted by policy makers. For simplicity the numbers are shown as point estimates but reflect broad ranges spelled out in the text.”

The Bank estimates a carbon price of US$20 to US$25 per ton. A recent <="" a="">research note issued by Deutsche Bank reduces its estimates of the price of carbon up to 2020. Deutsche Bank’s estimate for 2011 is €12/t. The table below illustrates Deutsche Bank’s current estimates compared to its previous estimates....MORE
And from Nature:
As the world gears up for the next round of United Nations climate-change negotiations in Durban, South Africa, in November, evidence has emerged that a cornerstone of the existing global climate agreement, the international greenhouse-gas emissions-trading system, is seriously flawed.

Critics have long questioned the usefulness of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which was established under the Kyoto Protocol. It allows rich countries to offset some of their carbon emissions by investing in climate-friendly projects, such as hydroelectric power and wind farms, in developing countries. Verified projects earn certified emission reductions (CERs) — carbon credits that can be bought and sold, and count towards meeting rich nations' carbon-reduction targets.

But a diplomatic cable published last month by the WikiLeaks website reveals that most of the CDM projects in India should not have been certified because they did not reduce emissions beyond those that would have been achieved without foreign investment. Indian officials have apparently known about the problem for at least two years. 

"What has leaked just confirms our view that in its present form the CDM is basically a farce," says Eva Filzmoser, programme director of CDM Watch, a Brussels-based watchdog organization. The revelations imply that millions of tonnes of claimed reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions are mere phantoms, she says, and potentially cast doubt over the principle of carbon trading. "In the face of these comments it is no wonder that the United States has backed away from emission trading," Filzmoser says....MORE
Throw it on the pile with the Chinese CFC-23 fraud which cost European homemakers something like $10 Billion and you start to wonder about that whole carbon trading schtick.

*From way back in October 2007:
Cap-and-Trade Market in Babies

"When Britain decided to end slavery,
Wilberforce didn't set up a cap-and-trade system"
That's me, misquoting myself.

Sometimes I find my fellow capitalists repulsive. When they lobby for political favors, then turn around and blandly refer to the result as an example of free markets I don't know whether to laugh, cry or attempt to destroy them. Laughing is probably the healthiest response, world domination the most challenging.

I've been looking for examples to skewer CO2 cap-and-trade.
One thought problem was how to end slavery.
Another was Nuclear weapons proliferation. Think about it.
Mr. Consultant comes up to you and says "The market based system of capping production and handing out allowances to produce nukes, which can then be traded, is the only rational approach".
Don't think too long though, lest you enter "Le Théâtre de l'Absurde". Trust me, the world of Jean Genet and Sam Beckett gets old fast, Pinter and Albee's, faster.

Here's another angle, from the Scotsman (scroll down):
NO-ONE could fail to be moved by last week's horrifying TV documentary on the missing children of China....