There is no universal regulator for carbon credits, which is what attracts scammers.
Under the Kyoto Protocol for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the amount of emissions in the industrialized countries of the northern hemisphere has to be capped by assigned quotas. These quotas are known as Assigned Amount Units (AAUs). Each AAU equals one metric ton of greenhouse gas or equivalent. To implement them, each of these countries set quotas on emissions from installations capable of producing pollution within their own borders. Each one of these facilities has a certain credit allowance of credits. If the facility has an excess of unused quotas it can sell them to other ones as carbon credits. An installation that sees that it may exceed its AAU quota can buy extra ones in this manner, privately or on the open market.
By permitting AAUs to be bought and sold, the operator of each installation affected can theoretically choose the most cost-effective way of reducing total emissions. An operator can elect to use all the AAUs at his disposal, or sell AAUs and earmark the money earned to purchase industrial equipment that emits fewer pollutants.
How Carbon Credit Trading Scams Work
Scammers usually “cold call” potential investors – meaning they phone you out of the blue, having bought your contact details from a retail source. But they are also known to send email and junk mail, and also pick up potential investors by word of mouth or at a seminar or exhibition.
They will start by telling you that, as a result of Kyoto, carbon credits are now latest hot trend in commodity trading, and that you shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity it presents. They’ll then probably claim that they have been selected by a certain industry umbrella organization or manufacturer in need of quick cash to go “green” by modernizing its facilities. They decided, therefore, to sell off its excess carbon credits at bargain basement prices and contract with they can offer some to you at a reduced price. You’ll then be told that you can quickly flip them to a different operator for a quick profit. The carbon credits may be described by a variety of terms, such as carbon credit certificates, voluntary emission reductions or certified emission reductions.
Other scammers may invite you to invest directly in a project that generates carbon credits. When you are victimized by fraud, you are generally entitled to receive a refund or, in certain circumstances, apply for a chargeback..
The main problem with trading in carbon credits is that there is no universal regulator. This, of course, is what attracts scammers. Five independent exchanges do exist that trade carbon allowances. They are the European Climate Exchange (owned by Intercontinental Exchange, headquartered in Atlanta and traded on the New York Stock Exchange), NASDAQ OMX Commodities Europe (headquartered in Oslo and owned by Nasdaq, Inc., based in New York), PowerNext (headquartered in Paris and owned by The European Energy Exchange AG), Commodity Exchange Bratislava (a joint stock company registered in Slovakia), and the European Energy Exchange (headquartered in Leipzig and owned by Eurex, the largest futures and options market in Europe, which in turn is owned by Deutsche Börse, a joint stock company that also owns the Frankfurt Stock Exchange). Needless to say, none of them engages in cold calling.
Individual investors who bought from scammers inevitably report that they cannot sell or trade their carbon credits, and have lost the money that they have invested.
If you think you’ve been the victim of a carbon credit trading scam, contact the fund recovery experts at MyChargeBack.