Sunday, July 5, 2009

Papua New Guinea suspends carbon chief amid reports of dodgy deals

Yvonne Chan in Hong Kong, BusinessGreen, Thursday 2 July 2009 at 09:45:00

Foreign firms allegedly paid millions of dollars for unauthorised carbon credits

Theo Yasause, Papua New Guinea's Office of Climate Change (OCC) director, was suspended earlier this week following reports that he issued unofficial carbon credits worth millions of dollars from 39 different forestry projects.

The OCC has been accused of hiring two international brokers to sell carbon credits without the consent of landowners. Moreover, Papua New Guinea does not currently have a legislative framework to issue carbon credits and ensure they are properly verified.

The Economist magazine has obtained documents that suggest a series of multimillion-dollar carbon trading deals were made with foreign companies under the proposed Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) mechanism.

Additionally, the Australian Associated Press news agency claims it has obtained documents showing that Adelaide-based carbon credit broker Carbon Planet paid A$1.2m (£588m, $968m) for projects in Papua New Guinea.

A government investigation was launched last month over the allegations. At the time, Yasause said that stolen "sample" documents, which appear to bear his signature, were leaked to the media.

He has denied any suggestion of wrongdoing, telling Australia's Canberra Times newspaper: "I have not sold or made any money out of this process. I have done no deals, nor sold any credits." …

Papua New Guinea suspends carbon chief amid reports of dodgy deals

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