Despite 20-some years of following the science, politics, economics and finance of this stuff I thought I knew most of the players but this group, the Environmental Investigation Agency,
is new to me.
That said, they sure can write a headline.
Press release via MarketWatch:
In the run-up to the international climate negotiations in Durban later this month, China has responded to efforts to ban the trading of widely discredited HFC-23 offsets by threatening to release huge amounts of the potent industrial chemical into the atmosphere unless other nations pay what amounts to a climate ransom.
China's threat comes after the European Union and other nations moved to ban HFC-23 credits from internal carbon markets in recognition of the perverse incentives created by these credits under the UN Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The vast amounts paid for HFC-23 offsets have led factories in China and elsewhere to manufacture far more HCFC-22 and its HFC-23 by-product than necessary, just to maximize the amounts paid to destroy HFC-23 through the UN-backed carbon trading scheme.In a shocking attempt to blackmail the international community, Xie Fei, revenue management director at the China Clean Development Mechanism Fund, threatened: "If there's no trading of [HFC-23] credits, they'll stop incinerating the gases" and vent them directly into the atmosphere. Speaking at the Carbon Forum Asia in Singapore last week, Xie Fei claimed he spoke for "almost all the big Chinese producers of HFCs who "can't bear the cost" and maintain that "they'll lose competitiveness".China's claim belies the fact that HFC-23 can be destroyed for just 0.20 cents per CO2e tonne. The destruction of one CO2e tonne generates one Certified Emission Reduction (CER) under the CDM, which historically has been sold on carbon markets at an average price of $18 -- 70 times the actual cost of destroying HFC-23.Because of these vast profits, China has repeatedly rejected attempts to destroy HFC-23 emissions through the Montreal Protocol. At the 2009 and 2010 Meetings of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, China blocked progress of a North American proposal to pay the actual costs of destroying HFC-23 emissions at plants not currently covered by the CDM, which account for over half of developing country HFC-23 production....MORE
This story says the Chinese have gamed the system for $4 Bil.; I've seen estimates of a net $5.5 Billion rip-off.
This is money coming straight from European consumers who are being played for chumps by their governments, their power suppliers, the E.U., the Chinese, the UNFCCC and the CDM traders.
The fact that European consumers are bending over and taking this treatment rather than imprisoning their so-called leaders is quite amazing and possibly illuminating of the nature of Europe today....