This is what the Telegraph maintains: Carbon trading fraudsters in Europe pocket €5bn.
Carbon trading fraudsters may have accounted for up to 90pc of all market activity in some European countries, with criminals pocketing an estimated €5bn (£4.5bn) mainly in Britain, France, Spain, Denmark and Holland, according to Europol, the European law enforcement agency.
The revelation caused embarrassment for European Union negotiators at the Copenhagen climate change summit yesterday, where they have been pushing for an expansion of their system across the globe to penalise heavy emitters of carbon dioxide.
Rob Wainwright, the director of serious crime squad, said large-scale organised criminal activity had “endangered the credibility” of the current carbon trading system.
“Endangered the credibility”… After the Hockey Stick, Climategate, Kiwi Climategate, Aussie Climategate. When it rains it pours, evidently.
So how does it work?
[C]riminals are using “missing trader” techniques to buy up carbon credits elsewhere in Europe where there is a cheaper rate of VAT.
Then they sell on the credits in the UK, charging the domestic rate, and pocket the difference. This has been commonplace among trading of very mobile commodities across European borders, such as phones, computer chips and cigarettes.
And it will only get worse, EURef mentions that HSBC thinks that revenues from climate-related businesses could exceed US$2 trillion by 2020.
That would be US$2 trillion of taxpayer money. Our money. You know, those few strips of bacon we bring home every month. And in Copenhagen they’re negotiating ways to get their hands on even those few strip left to us.
(Thanks to Esther for the tip)