The Australian government's proposal to convert its carbon tax to an emissions trading scheme in 2014 is fraught with danger. Because a carbon credit is an intangible good, trading in it is open to fraud and scams. In December 2009 Europol, the European criminal intelligence agency warned that ETS fraud had resulted in around 5 billion Euros in lost revenues and as much as 90 percent of the entire market volume on emissions exchanges was caused by fraudulent activity.
One of the recognised experts in the field of emissions trading, Professor Prins of the London School of Economics is reported to have said that there is no credible evidence that ETS markets make any difference to emissions. His Hartwell Group has published a number of papers examining ways to mitigate global warming effects.
In reference to his statement, Professor Prins, in an email to Globalcomment, confirmed the statement, saying, “There is now a wide range of evidence to this effect. The Hartwell paper gives you footnote references to several reports. One of my colleagues, Professor Pielke of Colorado, has summarised his own papers in his 2010 book ‘The climate fix’. He has done independent country studies on UK, Australia and Japan as you may know or if you don’t, can easily obtain. Pielke gives you the top-level summary evidence that shows no different rates of decarbonisation in the EU-15 and USA”.
He went on to say, “The rent-seeking aspects of these bubble markets are also concretely and well documented, and the range of scams increases all the time, as one would expect”.