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Posts Tagged ‘Emissions trading’

Cyber Attacks Force EU to Close Emission Trading System

In Financial Markets, Health and Environment, International Econnomic Politics, Law & Regulations, Natural science, Quantitative Finance, Technology, Trading software, Uncategorized, Views, commentaries and opinions on 22.01.11 at 03:15

A series of cyber-attacks on national registries, where carbon permits are stored, have forced the EU to close its emissions trading system (ETS) for at least a week. The European Commission posted the announcement on its website on Wednesday after Czech Republic-based firm Blackstone Global Ventures said about €6.8 million of carbon allowances appeared to have disappeared. Thefts on electronic registries in Austria, Greece, Poland and Estonia have also been reported over the last days.

“They will over time undermine the credibility of carbon trading as a policy measure.”

Kjersti Ulset


After discovering unauthorized trading on its account on Wednesday, Blackstone contacted the Czech registry OTE AS, which promptly closed all operations and began an investigation. The Paris-based BlueNext SA, operator of the world’s biggest spot exchange for permits, followed suit, as did registries in Poland and Estonia, before the EU finally imposed a region-wide shutdown.

It’s not the first time cyber criminal have been trading stolen permits at the international ETS market, but never has the activity been so comprehensive that the regulators have been forced to close the whole market.

“Incidents over the last weeks have underlined the urgent need for enhanced security measures,” the EU commission says in its announcement of the closure.

The bloc’s ETS system will be down, at least until 26 January.

Full statement

Q&A’s

A Criminals Market

According to The Guardian, European Authorities estimate that up to 90% of the whole market volume is plain fraudulent activities.

Belgian prosecutors highlighted the massive losses faced by EU governments from VAT fraud today after they charged three Britons and a Dutchman with money-laundering following an investigation into a multimillion-pound scam involving carbon emissions permits.

The three Britons, who were arrested last month in Belgium, were accused of failing to pay VAT worth €3m (£2.7m) on a series of carbon credit transactions.

European authorities believe the EU has lost at least €5bn to carbon-trading VAT fraud in the last 18 months.

Last month, the European police agency Europol reported that the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme had been victim of fraudulent trading activities over the past 18 months, worth €5 billion for several national tax revenues.

Europol, the EU’s law-­enforcement operation, fears the fraud will be used in other areas, especially gas and electricity trading markets, after criminals found VAT fraud was one of the most lucrative financial frauds.

The Most Lucrative Financial Fraud

Wednesday’s announcement and similar cyber-attacks have also damaged the EU initiative, together with reports of tax fraud and the recycling of used credits, the EUobserver.com reports.

“They will over time undermine the credibility of carbon trading as a policy measure,” says Kjersti Ulset, manager at Point Carbon, a company that reports on Europe’s emission trading, carried out in a network of registries across the union.

Despite its pioneering position, Europe’s ETS system has attracted criticism over its six years of operation, with some businesses saying it threatens the bloc’s competitiveness, while NGOs argue emission thresholds have been set too high.

By placing a price on carbon, Europe’s trading system is designed to lower company emissions and therefore protect the environment from global warming. Corporations received emission permits for free under the first phase (2005-2007) of the scheme. Some, however, are forced to pay for a portion of their permits.

The European emission trading system is the world’s largest, as the US plans for a similar cap-and-trade scheme was blocked by the US Senate last year.

Carbon permits are, however, traded as ordinary securities at the Chicago Carbon Exchange.

Brussels wants to see energy companies buy all their permits with their own money from 2013 and onwards, with other heavy industries gradually phased in by 2020.

China experts suggest pilot ETS projects could appear in Beijing’s next five-year plan, set to be approved in March.

Here at The Swapper we have been skeptical to the ETS all along.

It’s an artificial market, created on basis of nice thoughts, without a real supply/demand situation and is regulated in a way the is more similar to a pharmacy than a financial market.

But what is really worrisome, is the sharp increase in this kind of activity.

Just wait till you see the Chicago Board Option Exchange gets hacked!

Related by The Swapper:

Readers Response: The BP Conspiracy

In Financial Markets, Health and Environment, International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics, Views, commentaries and opinions on 31.07.10 at 22:09

Last month journalist, researcher and the author, Victor Thorn, presented a theory of grand conspiracy behind the BP oil spill.According to Thorn the catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil rig explosion be part of a larger scheme to “reform” the energy industry, just as the Obama administration has “reformed” health-care, banking and automobile manufacturers. Sounds pretty wild? Well, here’s one readers response:

“I think they have a lot of money riding on this Dark Horse!!!”

Why does Raines Freddie/Fannie own the patent for CO2 carbon computer that some guy who died on 9/11 invented?? The Democratic congress gave it to Raines Nov 2008.. 44 % of the people killed on 9/11 were in competetion with CCX,,Chicago Climate Exchange. Poor souls …Al Gore, Ohbummer and Maurice Strong, plus whatever Congress and House member who own stock in CCX will make TRILLIONS if the can pass Cap & Trade..Funny how that bill they passes yesterday does not include Fanny/Freddie, and Dobbs and Frank that cause the mess will not be investigate,,I think they have a lot of money riding on this Dark Horse!!!

{{Interesting twist to 9/11::The people at Northwestern University who ran the cap-and-trade simluation which demonstrated the profits possible with a 350ppm cap, also partnered with Boeing and Honeywell to guide the planes on 9/11 and sabotage the evacuation of their number one rival CO2e.com from the North Tower.

The ADT dispatcher.told everyone in the Twin Towers to return to their offices on 9/11 where Honeywell / Vulcain ventilation systems were rigged to kill them with a toxic/explosive mix of gases

9/11 real purposes was to scare the climate deniers and remove the competition to the racketeering launch of the Chicago Climate Exchange by Al Gore and Maurcie Strong and Richard Sandor.}}

“Were Marsh & McLennan, Cantor Fitzgerald/CO2e.com/eSpeed and Aon Corp destroyed to eliminate the competition in a future multi-trillion dollar carbon trading market?”

“Cantor Fitzgerald/CO2e.com/eSpeed held the patent on the unique software which would be used in the future carbon emissions trading which will result in trillions of dollars of trades. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) located at 10 Downing Street is currently estimated at $64 trillion.”

“In 2000, the Joyce Foundation provided a grant to Richard Sandor and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management to develop a competing carbon trading software. At the time, Barack Obama was on the board of directorsgreenhouse gases and the only operational cap and trade system in North America.” for the foundation. A second grant was made in 2001 and eventually led to the birth of the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) the only emissions reduction and trading system for all six

“The Obama administration is currently strongly pushing carbon emission policy. While leaning heavily on congress, they have also instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to declare CO2 a dangerous threat to human health which will lead to regulation of carbon emissions.””
Powerful forces behind the scenes appear to be orchestrating events to set up and profit from a carbon emissions trading system worth trillions of dollars.

The impact area of American Airlines Flight 11 in the North Tower was the offices of Marsh & McLennan. ( See below)

The offices above Marsh & McLennan were primarily Cantor Fitzgerald/CO2e.com/eSpeed. Cantor Fitzgerald was cut off from the rest of the building by the impact and suffered the greatest single loss by any company on 9/11. 658 of its employees died in the north WTC tower. [Business Week, 9/11/2006]

But Thomas Barnett’s two “mentors” at the firm that he interacts with—Bud Flanagan and Philip Ginsberg—are both out of the building at the time, for “accidental reasons,” and survive the attacks. [Institute of International Studies]

Marsh & McLennan loses 295 employees & 60 contractors.

In the South Tower, United Airlines Flight 175 impacts a zone mostly occupied by Fuji Bank. The Aon Corporation offices are above the impact area and they are also cut off. 175 employees of Aon Corp. die in the attacks.

There were 2605 deaths in 2 towers that day. Marsh & McLennan, Cantor Fitzgerald/CO2e.com/eSpeed and Aon Corp lost a total of 1153 people. That is just over 44% of the total deaths—a staggering proportion.

The employees of these 3 companies constituted a small fraction of the total number of individuals in the two towers but accounted for 44% of the deaths.”” (#1)

“From the Washington Examiner:

When he wasn’t busy helping create a $127 billion mess for taxpayers to clean up, former Fannie Mae Chief Executive Officer Franklin Raines, two of his top underlings and select individuals in the “green” movement were inventing a patented system to trade residential carbon credits.

Patent No. 6904336 was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trade Office on Nov. 7, 2006 — the day after Democrats took control of Congress. Former Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H., criticized the award at the time, pointing out that it had “nothing to do with Fannie Mae’s charter, nothing to do with making mortgages more affordable.”

It wasn’t about mortgages. It was about greenbacks. The patent, which Fannie Mae confirmed it still owns with Cantor Fitzgerald subsidiary CO2e.com, gives the mortgage giant a lock on the fledgling carbon trading market, thus also giving it a major financial stake in the success of cap-and-trade legislation.

Besides Raines, the other “inventors” are:

* Former Fannie Vice President and Deputy General Counsel G. Scott Lesmes, who provided legal advice on Fannie Mae’s debt and equity offerings;

* Former Fannie Vice President Robert Sahadi, who now runs GreenSpace Investment Financial Services out of his 5,002-square-foot Clarksburg home;

* 2008 Barack Obama fundraiser Kenneth Berlin, an environmental law partner at Skadden Arps;

* Michelle Desiderio, director of the National Green Building Certification program, which trains “green” monitors;

* Former Cantor Fitzgerald employee Elizabeth Arner Cavey, wife of Democratic donor Brian Cavey of the Stanton Park Group, which received $200,000 last year to lobby on climate change legislation; and

* Jane Bartels, widow of former CO2e.com CEO Carlton Bartels. Three weeks before Carlton Bartels was killed in the Sept. 11 attacks, he filed for another patent on the software used in 2003 to set up the Chicago Climate Exchange.

The patent, which covers both the “cap” and “trade” parts of Obama’s top domestic energy initiation, gives Fannie Mae proprietary control over an automated trading system that pools and sells credits for hard-to-quantify residential carbon reduction efforts (such as solar panels and high-efficiency appliances) to companies and utilities that don’t meet emission reduction targets. Depending on where the Environmental Protection Agency sets arbitrary CO2 standards, that could be every company in America.

The patent summary describes how carbon “and other pollutants yet to be determined” would be “combined into a single emissions pool” and traded — just as Fannie’s toxic portfolio of subprime mortgages were.

“Fannie Mae earns no money on this patent,” communications director Amy Bonitatibus told the Washington Examiner. “We can’t conjecture as to the cap-and-trade legislation”” (#2)

“Know the crooks and their roles:
George Soros, Joyce Foundation and connection to CCX.

What is CCX, the Chicago Climate Exchange, projected to gross 10 Trillion a year is Cap-N-Tax passes. Obama played a pivotal role in the formation of the CCX. (Click here for expose)

Barrack Hussein Obama, Board Member of the Joyce Foundation, funded the formation of the CCX. (
Valerie Jarrett is still on the board, Obama’s top adviser.) Obama sat on board and funneled money to Ayer’s brother (wild huh, just a guy in his neighborhood) and to form the CCX.

AL Gore–Goldman Sachs– GIM: Hold on to your britches, London-based Generation Investment Management sees the Trillion and they purchased a huge stake in Chicago Climate Exchange (fifth largest shareholder.) The founder of GIM is none other than former Vice President Al Gore along with Goldman people. For example other founders are David Blood (former Goldman executive), Mark Ferguson (Goldman) and Peter Harris (Goldman) to name a few. “

Franklin Raines, mega crooked banker and bust Fannie Mae head, uses Fannie Mae (taxpayers money) to buy the technology to measure and manage carbon. The patent was award the day after Obama and Dems won the election.

Goldman Sachs owns ten percent of the CCX and its 10 Trillion a year potential. (CCX is 10% owned by Goldman Sachs (GS) and 10% owned by Generation Investment Management (GIM).) Gore, Goldman, and Cap and Trade – Tangled Web of Corruption” (#4)

“If we follow the time line on where Obama was during the funding of the Chicago Climate Exchange, he was still a professor at the University of Chicago Law School teaching constitutional law, with his law license becoming inactive a year later in 2002.

It may be interesting to note that the Chicago Climate Exchange in spite of its hype, is a veritable rat’s nest of cronyism. The largest shareholder in the Exchange is Goldman Sachs. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is its honorary chairman, The Joyce Foundation, which funded the Exchange also funded money for John Ayers’ Chicago School Initiatives. John is the brother of William Ayers.

What a flap when it was discovered that the senator from Chicago had nursed on Saul Alinsky’s milk, had his political career launched at a coffee party held by domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, and sat for 20 years, uncomplaining in front of the “God-dam-America pulpit of resentment-challenged Jeremiah Wright.

Folk were naturally outraged that the empty suit who would go on to become TOTUS was spawned from such anti-American activism.

But the media should have been hollering, “Stop Thief!” instead.

The same Chicago Climate Exchange promoting public rip-off was funded by Obama before he was POTUS.

Even as man-made global warming is being exposed as a money-generating hoax, Obama is working feverishly to push the controversial cap-and-trade carbon reduction scheme through Congress.

Obama was never the character he created for himself in the fairy-tale version in “Dreams of My Father”. He’s the agent of Change and Hope for cohorts making money down at the Chicago Climate Exchange.” (#5)

“In closing, an article that appeared in FrontPage about a year ago, noted that “CCX’s members include Ford, DuPont, Dow Corning and the states of Illinois and New Mexico. CCX also owns 50 percent of the European Climate Exchange (ECX), which features such members as Shell, British Petroleum, Barclays—and Goldman Sachs.” British Petroleum—better known as BP.
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/22810

Enough! We The People demand that a RICO investigation and criminal charges be initiated to uncover the criminal actions of this administration and all of its radical cohorts in crime, like GE, BP, Goldman Sachs, the labor unions, Fannie and Freddie, ACORN, Organizing for America, George Soros, Maurice Strong, Warren Buffett, Al Gore, The Progressive Caucus, anyone who has close ties to this administration.”

This is a cabal of crooks. All legislation should be halted until this is done. We, The People will not stop. We will know justice. We demand that you do your duty and uphold the oath you took to defend the Constitution. Our Country is depending on you like at no other time in history. (#6)

Once again, of course, Barack Obama is front and center, along with the Chicago Climate Exchange, the Joyce Foundation, George Soros, Maurice Strong, Edmund de Rothschild, the Federal Reserve, Goldman Sachs, George W. Bush’s Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, even Fannie Mae, and many others. It entails global Marxofascism / global kleptocracy, with Americans being the chief victims, while a few overlords rule at, and their financiers skim off, the top. If any “mainstream” reporters cared to cover this thoroughly (and could) they could be much bigger characters in U.S. and world history than Woodward and Bernstein. And as for Americans willingly instigating this, it is treason.
http://investigatingobama.blogspot.com/2010/04/greatest-scandal-in-modern-history.html

see the brilliance of the plan..Bush’ watch,,bush’s fault..no connections to the chicago boys,,then Ohbummer says the the oil leak is like 9/11..they always return to the scene of the crime..why do they all protect him to a fault,,like picking an actor for their next soap opera drama,,Harry reid’s statement,,put a suit on that boy and he’ll work. fine,,paraphrase,,henry kissinger,,said O was poised in the art of deception,,he can play the part of the prez..everyone knows about soros,,he’s big enough to take the heat,,it’s not what see,,it’s there hole card,,,and the hole card was Cap & trade,,and viola,,Flight 93 landed at it’s target,,Nov 2008..

(#1) http://www.abeldanger.net/2010/04/specific-companies-in-world-trade.html

(#2) http://climateerinvest.blogspot.com/2010/04/fannie-mae-owns-patent-on-residential.html

(#4) http://www.examiner.com/x-14143-Orange-County-Conservative-Examiner~y2010m4d27-Scandal-Obama-Gore-Goldman-Joyce-Foundation-CCX-partners-to-fleece-USA

(#5)http://warofillusions.wordpress.com/2009/03/30/obama-maurice-strong-al-gore-key-players-cashing-in-on-chicago-climate-exchange/

(#6) http://investigatingobama.blogspot.com/2010/06/rico-investigation-needed-now-about.html

Related by the Econotwist:

Gulf Oil Spill: A Carefully Planned Inside Job?

So, You Thought BP Was An OIL Company?

Norway’s Oil Fund Among BP’s Largest Shareholders As Bankruptcy Rumors Hit Market

Oil Spill Makes Waves

BP Is Drowning In Its Own Oil Spill

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Most Polluting Companies Makes Billions On Carbon Trade

In Financial Markets, Health and Environment, International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics, Views, commentaries and opinions on 01.06.10 at 16:38

I guess this is the final evidence that E.U.’s emission trading system is complete fiasco.  According to editor of Euro-correspondent.com Stephen Gardner the most polluting companies in Europe stand to make a profit of more than 13 billion euro by selling emissions permissions – ETS – they have been given for free, but won’t need.

“The most polluting companies in Europe are lining up to receive a windfall that could be as much as €13.3 billion from the ill-conceived emissions trading system.”

Stephen Gardner


I’ve been skeptical towards this emission trading scheme all along, but after reading Mr. Gardner’s latest blog post at the EUobserver.com, I have no more doubt; the ETS market is a complete flop!

Here are a few examples:

In Belgium, in 2008, ArcelorMittal received for its various plants 11,183,005 allowances. But it only used up 7,109,899 of them — a surplus of more than 4 million.

Another metal-basher, Corus, received in 2008 across various plants 11,414,550 allowances, but only used 6,953,746 of them.

Massive German ironworks Hüttenwerke Krupp Mannesmann, meanwhile, got 8.6 million allowances but only used half of them.

Editor of Euro-correspondent.com, Stephen Gardner calls it a “scandal.”

I have no problem agreeing with him.

Here’s what he writes:

Look closely enough at yesterday’s European Commission communication on ‘moving beyond a 20 percent greenhouse gas reduction’ and you will spot a scandal. It’s on page 3 and it reads like this: ‘With many allowances unused during the crisis, companies will be able to carry over some 5-8% of their allowances from the 2008-2012 period into the third phase of the ETS.’

What this means is that during the 2008-2012 period of the EU emissions trading system, companies were given more carbon allowances — pollution permits — than they needed. Partly this is a consequence of unforeseen events. Because of the deep recession, big steel firms and the like drastically cut their production between 2008 and 2009, emitting much less CO2 than expected, and so ending up with piles of unused emission allowances.

Stephen Gardner is editor of Euro-correspondent.com, and Brussels freelance environment correspondent for the Bureau of National Affairs (US). He is also a contributor to other media such as the BBC and the UK magazines Ethical Corporation and Private Eye.

But partly, the allowance surpluses are down to bad planning, lobbying and the rewarding by governments of their favourite industries (ie those that threatened to relocate elsewhere if they did not get bumper carbon allowance handouts).

Because of the way the ETS was set up, the surpluses are held primarily by heavy industry, rather than by power plants. Here are a few examples. In Belgium, in 2008, ArcelorMittal received for its various plants 11,183,005 allowances. But it only used up 7,109,899 of them — a surplus of more than 4 million.

Another metal-basher, Corus, received in 2008 across various plants 11,414,550 allowances, but only used 6,953,746 of them. Massive German ironworks Hüttenwerke Krupp Mannesmann, meanwhile, got 8.6 million allowances but only used half of them.

These massive surpluses were: 1). given to these companies for free, and 2). can be carried over to the next phase of the ETS (2013-2020) and sold then. By my admittedly back-of-the-envelope calculations, the 5-8% cited in the Commission’s paper means between 520 million and 833 million surplus allowances EU-wide.

Here is the absolutely scandalous part: the companies holding these allowances can sell them for at least an estimated €16 each in the next phase. That means the most polluting companies in Europe are lining up to receive a windfall that could be as much as €13.3 billion from the ill-conceived emissions trading system.

And who precisely will deliver this windfall to billionaires like Lakshmi Mittal? Well, while EU governments were dishing out massive surpluses to their favourite manufacturers, they gave far smaller allocations to power plants. This was because power plants can’t flounce off to another country if they don’t get what they want. So the massive Drax power plant in northern England, for example, was given in 2008 9.5 million allowances, but had emissions equivalent to 22.3 million — a shortfall of 12.8 million.

But another reason power plants were given insufficient allowances was that they do not suffer any real negative effect from it — they simply pass on the cost to their customers in the form of higher electricity bills. So the ill-conceived ETS has resulted in households across Europe funnelling money into the pockets of some of the continent’s most polluting companies, who have no incentive to do anything in return, but just wait for the free money to roll in.

Increasing the EU’s 2020 emissions reduction target from 20 to 30 percent compared to 1990 levels would force a quicker burn through of the surplus but will not reduce the windfall. In fact, it might increase it, because the carbon price would likely rise. However, the Commission should scrap the rule that allows the 2008-2012 surplus to be carried forward to the next ETS phase. Of course in the face of the lobbying power of the steel industry and others, this is hardly likely to happen.

By Stephen Gardner

Original blog here.

Here’s a copy of the E.U. commissions emission report.

Related by the Econotwist:

Another Carbon Fraud Raid Reveals Firearms, Piles Of Cash

Hackers Steal CO2-emission Permits Worth $4bn

World May Not Be Warming, Scientists Says

As Climate War Intensifies, So Does Extreme Weather

Top Scientist: “UN Climate Panel Is Losing All Credibility”

Mother Earth On Crack

Øko-logisk regnefeil?

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Another Carbon Fraud Raid Reveals Firearms, Piles Of Cash

In Financial Markets, Health and Environment, International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics on 24.05.10 at 13:50

In the early hours of Friday morning, UK tax authorities raided a series of homes and businesses nabbing four men that are believed to be part of an organized criminal gang suspected of ETS carbon trade fraud worth £38 million (€44m), according to the EUobserver.

“Criminals are criminals and will look to taking advantage wherever it is easiest for them.”

Europol spokeswoman


Large piles of cash and a stash of weapons were uncovered when investigators entered seven properties in the London and Leicester areas. The operation was part of  “a complex, 15-month investigation,” according to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

The arrests, of individuals between the ages of 29 and 53, are linked to raids that took place in August last year where nine people were arrested, the EUobserver writes.

However, the development is unrelated to the 25 arrests made earlier this month in the UK and Germany when authorities engaged in a blitz of raids on hundreds of sites in the two countries, including on Deutsche Bank and energy firm RWE, in a case involving the theft of an estimated €180 miillion from state revenues.

“The two investigations are completely separate,” a spokeswoman for HMRC told EUobserver.

The criminal activity the raids focussed on relates to what is known as “carousel fraud.” Criminals establish themselves in one EU member state and open a trading account with the national carbon credit registry.

They then buy carbon credits in a different country, which makes them exempt from VAT.

These are then sold to buyers in the original country, but with VAT slapped on, although the VAT then just disappears along with the trader and the money never arrives in government coffers.

Last December Europol, the European criminal intelligence agency, last December issued a warning that ETS fraud across the EU had resulted in around €5 billion in lost revenues.

In response to the concerns about the attraction of the ETS to fraudsters, the UK government has reduced to zero the rate applied to emissions credits, effectively making them VAT-free.

Criminals cannot steal tax revenue that the government has decided it will no longer collect.

“Criminals are criminals and will look to taking advantage wherever it is easiest for them. Before it was mobiles and computer chips. Right now, they think the ETS is a good bet,” said the spokeswoman.

“If there’s a window or loophole, they will try to exploit it. EU member states need to take the action they need to take in this matter, but it is them to put forward what it is they need to do.”

At the EU level, a new EU directive on reverse charges for emissions trading, which aims to close off this form of tax fraud, was implemented in February.

Original post here.

Related by the Econotwist:

Hackers Steal CO2-emission Permits Worth $4bn

Warnings Agains Hong Kong Financial Fraud

Living In A Derivative World

Italy Charge Foreign Banks With Fraud

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Hackers Steal CO2-emission Permits Worth $4bn

In Financial Markets, Health and Environment, International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics on 06.02.10 at 14:46

Emissions trading registries in a number of EU countries were shut down this week as a result of a phishing scam, tricking traders into giving away their emissions allowances. A handful of firms fell for the trap and ended up giving away their CO2 emissions allowances to the crooks, who will now be able to sell the permits worth a total of USD 4 billions.

“This happens to banks, Visa, Mastercard about once or twice a month. And this is the same sort of thing. It’s not something intrinsic to the ETS. This could happen to anyone.”

Barbara Helfferich


The European Commission told EUobserver that illegal transactions so far had only been reported in Germany and the Czech Republic. Brussels says that the registries will re-open once they have taken the appropriate measures to deal with the scam, including warning users and resetting passwords.


Although emissions trading was still able to continue via the European Emissions Exchange, registries in nine member states – Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Hungary, Italy, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria Germany – closed to prevent any further losses, according to reports in the German press. Other national registries, notably those in Austria, the Netherlands and Norway, were quicker to react and while registration was suspended in these countries as well, they reopened on Tuesday.

The European Commission told EUobserver that illegal transactions so far had only been reported in Germany and the Czech Republic. Brussels says that the registries will re-open once they have taken the appropriate measures to deal with the scam, including warning users and resetting passwords.

Similar to online banking scams in which an email directs you to a website that is a copy of your own bank’s webpage, and then asks for your bank details, these criminals reproduced the sites of the German and Czech registries. The criminals sent emails last Thursday to firms in Europe, Japan and New Zealand, asking them to offer up their registration details.

A handful of firms fell for the trap and ended up giving away their CO2 emissions allowances to the crooks, who will now be able to sell them on. Financial Times Deutschland on Wednesday reported that one firm had lost €1.5 million as a result.

The European Commission, like any bank or online shop facing the same situation, is caught between the need to get out the word to firms to prevent them falling for the trap and undermining confidence in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) by publichising the fact.

“We have to be careful not to blow this out of proportion,” EU environment spokeswoman Barbara Helfferich told EUobserver. “This happens to banks, Visa, Mastercard about once or twice a month. And this is the same sort of thing. I receive these emails all the time. I just delete them.”

“It’s not something intrinsic to the ETS. This could happen to anyone.”

Well, the good news must be that emission trading finally seem to be taken seriously.

Link to original article.


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