Copenhagen Framework Demands Huge Amounts of Spending, But Allows Enron-Style Accounting Tricks So That Carbon Isn't Actually Reduced → Washingtons Blog
Copenhagen Framework Demands Huge Amounts of Spending, But Allows Enron-Style Accounting Tricks So That Carbon Isn't Actually Reduced - Washingtons Blog

Friday, December 11, 2009

Copenhagen Framework Demands Huge Amounts of Spending, But Allows Enron-Style Accounting Tricks So That Carbon Isn't Actually Reduced

The UN and other agencies calling for a war on global warming say the price tag will be trillions.

But - according to top experts on climate and cap and trade - the regulatory framework being rammed through in America and internationally won't actually reduce carbon to any meaningful degree. See this, this, this and this.

Now, the Independent notes that the Copenhagen framework uses Enron-style accounting tricks to give the impression of cutting carbon, without really doing so:

The first week of this summit is being dominated by the representatives of the rich countries trying to lace the deal with Enron-style accounting tricks that will give the impression of cuts, without the reality. It's essential to understand these shenanigans this week, so we can understand the reality of the deal that will be announced with great razzmatazz next week ...

A study by the University of Stanford found that most of the projects that are being funded as "cuts" either don't exist, don't work, or would have happened anyway. Yet this isn't a small side-dish to the deal: it's the main course ...

Trick one: hot air. The nations of the world were allocated permits to release greenhouse gases back in 1990, when the Soviet Union was still a vast industrial power – so it was given a huge allocation. But the following year, it collapsed, and its industrial base went into freefall – along with its carbon emissions. It was never going to release those gases after all. But Russia and the eastern European countries have held on to them in all negotiations as "theirs". Now, they are selling them to rich countries who want to purchase "cuts". Under the current system, the US can buy them from Romania and say they have cut emissions – even though they are nothing but a legal fiction.

We aren't talking about climatic small change. This hot air represents 10 gigatonnes of CO2. By comparison, if the entire developed world cuts its emissions by 40 per cent by 2020, that will only take six gigatonnes out of the atmosphere.

Trick two: double-counting. This is best understood through an example. If Britain pays China to abandon a coal power station and construct a hydro-electric dam instead, Britain pockets the reduction in carbon emissions as part of our overall national cuts. In return, we are allowed to keep a coal power station open at home. But at the same time, China also counts this change as part of its overall cuts. So one tonne of carbon cuts is counted twice. This means the whole system is riddled with exaggeration – and the figure for overall global cuts is a con.

Trick three: the fake forests ... the Canadian, Swedish and Finnish logging companies have successfully pressured their governments into inserting an absurd clause into the rules. The new rules say you can, in the name of "sustainable forest management", cut down almost all the trees – without losing credits. It's Kafkaesque: a felled forest doesn't increase your official emissions... even though it increases your actual emissions.

There are dozens more examples like this, but you and I would lapse into a coma if I listed them. This is deliberate. This system has been made incomprehensible because if we understood, ordinary citizens would be outraged. If these were good faith negotiations, such loopholes would be dismissed in seconds. And the rich countries are flatly refusing to make even these enfeebled, leaky cuts legally binding. You can toss them in the bin the moment you leave the conference centre, and nobody will have any comeback.


  1. Outstanding! I'll have to create an article pointing to this info. I just wrote one to be published soon including link to your previous post on torture.

    You're a hero :)

  2. This is amazing. What a win for the American people! Auditing the Federal Reserve is ABSOLUTELY necessary. However, I believe that this will lead to deflation in the short term. But, a deflationary restructuring is needed for the American economy in the long run.

    Check this out. It is absolutely insane how closely the market environments of 1929-1939 and 1999-2009 mirror each other. If you think about it, the Dow Jones Industrials represented the American industrial economy the best in the 30s. Today the Nasdaq probably represents the American technology/service based economy the best. Check out these charts to see what I'm talking about. Let me know what you think, the similarities are hard to deny.

  3. Could you please give a direct link to the Stanford study?

  4. In our crazy money system, the government has to borrow our money into existence and then pay interest on it.
    Why can’t we just issue our own money, debt free?

    That is the reform that will make a huge difference – even worldwide.

    Having private banks create money is the root cause of all world poverty, hunger, disease and misery. And until we fix it, we will never be able to make a dent in these other issues.

    Do you know that only one zip code in this country provides nearly half of all the lobbying money to Congress? Guess what that zip code is? It’s 10036, the upper east side of Manhattan – the Golden Ghetto. That’s where the Mayor of New York lives. That’s where the Wall Street bankers live. They control the money, they control Congress.

    If we value the Founding Father’s dream of freedom — an escape from serfdom by political self-determination –we have to conclude that creating our money is too important a function to be put into private hands. History has shown time and time again that that leads to nothing but plutocracy – rule by the rich – and ultimately slavery.


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