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Right Hooks

Europe's Carbon Credit Program Only Made Money

The program increased the amount by 600 tons.

Dan Gilmore · Aug. 27, 2015
Fiddlers Ferry Power Station, England. Photo courtesy Ian Carroll, Flickr

Well this is awkward. A study from the Stockholm Environment Institute investigating the effectiveness of the carbon credit program run by the United Nations found that it backfired. Well, unless the real intent was to enrich some at the expense of others. Instead of trimming greenhouse gas emissions, the program increased them by 600 tons. How? For some countries, there was money to be made or a con to be played. The BBC reports that 73% of the programs the institute studies would have happened naturally, without any extra effort to cut back on emissions or save the trees. “Imagine that,” Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw writes. “The Russians in particular did quite well by citing any number of programs, including one where they agreed to stop burning coal waste at mining facilities which was dumping massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. The catch was that the Russians had not previously been burning the coal waste. They only started doing it so they could stop and claim the credits for it. Of course, when the Russian representative was reached for comment, he said, ‘It’s simply not true.’” It just goes to show that Hillary Clinton was right — at least about some of her fellow statists: You can’t change hearts and minds, only the law. And those unchanged hearts will make a mockery of intrusive government programs.

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