Close up image of a stack of newspapers

A chance to stamp out bogus carbon credits

EU should put climate credibility ahead of harmful corporate greed


THE London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) will tomorrow (Wednesday) address key European politicians and policy-makers in a bid to help end the corrupt global trade in bogus HFC-23 carbon credits.

EIA has been at the forefront of efforts to expose and halt the hugely lucrative dodgy credits, widely awarded to companies in return for the destruction of greenhouse gases manufactured solely for that purpose.

Tomorrow’s hearing at the European Parliament in Brussels is a key opportunity to influence Member States’ views on a Commission proposal to ban the use of HFC-23 and N2O credits in Phase III of the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme – which runs from 2013-20 – before the Climate Change Committee votes on January 21.

The event will bring together all sides of the debate, and EIA Global Environment Campaign leader Fionnuala Walravens will speak as a civil society representative alongside business leaders and European Commission climate chief Connie Hedegaard.

She will highlight how prolonged use of industrial credits on carbon markets:
• stifles investment in truly sustainable projects in least developed countries;
• is poor value for money;
• conflicts with the goals of the Montreal Protocol on ozone-depleting substances.

Much of the debate is likely to focus on the timing of the ban. The European Commission has proposed a ban effective from January 1, 2013, which has been strongly resisted by a small number of industry players who have persuaded some governments of the need to delay the ban. Last month, Italy, Spain and a handful of other Member States expressed a desire to delay the prohibition until May.

“Companies opposing the January start have already reaped huge financial rewards from their investment in HFC projects,” said Walravens. “Why should European policy be compromised to expand their profits?

“HFC-23 offsets are hugely flawed and have no place in a functioning environmentally credible carbon market.”

Walravens will argue that prolonging the use of industrial gas carbon credits in European carbon markets undermines Europe’s international climate negotiating position, which in Cancún called for increased abatement efforts from advanced developing countries.

EIA will also raise concerns about a potential loophole which may allow the banking of industrial credits for use in Phase III.

“The European Commission has proposed a full use ban on these corrupt, damaging carbon credits from 2013 onwards and that’s exactly what we need to happen, despite attempts to stall or undermine the process,” added Walravens.


Interviews are available on request: please contact Fionnuala Walravens, at or telephone 0207 354 7960.

• Carbon Trading made simple – to help your audience quickly get to grips with the issue of carbon credits, EIA has produced a short animated film for your use – please feel free to include a link in your story or embed the film on your website.


1.The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) investigates and campaigns against environmental crime and abuses.


Environmental Investigation Agency
62-63 Upper Street
London N1 0NY
Tel: +44 207 354 7960