in Australia, Philippines

Shift2Neutral’s Brett Goldsworthy interviewed on Today Tonight Adelaide

On 28 March 2011, Australian TV station Today Tonight Adelaide broadcast a programme about Shift2Neutral and the company’s chairman Brett Goldsworthy. Paul Makin, a journalist with Today Tonight Adelaide interviewed Brett Goldsworthy in his office in a shopping centre in Westleigh, a suburb of Sydney.

“Brett Goldsworthy is a one-man band of sorts,” says Makin in the programme.

The programme focuses on Shift2Neutral’s activities in the Philippines, which started in May 2009, when Shift2Neutral announced that it had signed an “Agreement with the Tribal Coalition Of Mindanao Incorporated to supply certification services of indigenous rainforest land on the Island of Mindanao Philippines.” Since then, Goldsworthy claims to have signed REDD-type deals in Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Brazil, although in the programme Goldsworthy only mentions projects in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Solomon Islands, in addition to the Philippines.

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  2. This person has caused a lot of trouble for a lot of people, including myself. I am genuinely trying to establish REDD projects in Sarawak (Malaysia) and Brett Goldworthy’s announcement last year that he had signed up a number of tribes in Sarawak raised red flags with both the government and the oil palm company KTS over my efforts. It didn’t help that we are both called Brett and both from Australia. Information on what I am trying to achieve is posted in REDD-Monitor under Malaysia. After many months I had gained permission from the Sarawak Government for the pilot project I am working on, a project that would give 3,400 hectares to a Penan village, but since Mr Goldworthy’s announcement the government has requested KTS to ‘go slow’ on whether to proceed. I had originally been informed I would receive an answer from KTS last December but am still waiting. I hope his false announcements have finally caught up with him and that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission throw the book at him.

  3. I watched this story on TV, did anyone notice he admits to trying to extort people?

    Brett Goldsworthy: We’ve had death threats made against us. My family and myself.

    Paul Makin: For what reason?

    Brett Goldsworthy: For the extortion


    And how can the World Bank make a statment they have no idea who he is and have no association with him, over a mis-understanding? Pretty sure that doesn’t happen.

    Brett Goldsworth is helping Poverty continue in the Philipines!

    I can understand stealing and coning to eat and feed a family, but Brett Goldsworth obviously has no need for more FOOD! One look at him and you can see what a greedy selfish pig he must be. Now he is stealing the food out of the mouths of people who have none!

    As an Australian, and an Australian Tax Payer, why isn’t our government stopping him? This is the Third public story about his extortion.

    When the time comes Mr Gold-not-Worthy, you will need more than good laywers as I am sure there are many very angry Australian Filipinos whose family they stuggle to support got ripped off and starved by you.

    That, and no Judge in Australia will let you go unpunished.

  4. @Taylor R (#5) – I don’t think Goldsworthy is admitting to attempting to extort money. My understanding is that he’s referring to his claim that Hick is trying to extort money from him:

    Paul Makin: Now Goldsworthy himself is playing the victim, claiming Robert Hick threatened to extort a fortune from him.

    Brett Goldsworthy: And extortion.

    Paul Makin: How much are we talking about?

    Brett Goldsworthy: Ten million dollars.

    Paul Makin: Goldsworthy has taken an AVO [Apprehended Violence Order] against Robert Hick and claims he’s brought in the Feds.

    The World Bank part of the story goes as follows: Shift2Neutral’s website has a page on certification. While this page fails to explain how Shift2Neutral actually certifies its carbon credits, it previously had a link to the World Bank’s Carbon Finance Unit (which is not a certification organisation, incidentally). When Tricom’s Vic Vidal wrote to the World Bank to ask them about Shift2Neutral, the Bank responded by saying it has no association with Shift2Neutral. REDD-Monitor asked Brett Goldsworthy about the company’s certification process in August 2010 ( – see question 9). Goldsworthy declined to answer.

    Shift2Neutral’s webpage on certification currently explains that:

    The Protocols and Methodologies we follow and implement within our own role and benchmark solution include but we do not represent nor imply we represent the following :

    What follows are links to The Greenhouse Gas Protocol, The International Organization for Standardization and The United Nations Framework Convention of [sic] Climate Change (UNFCCC). None of these organisations certify carbon credits.

  5. What you see here is what happens when a bunch of flakes all get together and try to create a snowball of destruction. Nice try boys, but no cigar. You’re just not good enough. Shame on Today Tonight for spouting off whilst knowing nothing of the facts. Then again gutter journalism attracts gutter dwellers…

  6. @AC (#7) – Would you like to enlighten us with some of the facts?

    Incidentally, there was a report in the Sydney Morning Herald about Shift2Neutral last week: “Revealed: scandal of carbon credit firm.” The journalist asked Goldsworthy where Shift2Neutral’s carbon credits come from. It’s an important question, and Goldsworthy’s credibility rests on it. Here’s Goldsworthy’s response (he was given 24 hours to reply):

    “I just don’t have that information in front of me right now – there are all sorts of projects, it is all legit, I just am not in a position to tell you what they are at short notice… There was a waste-to-energy plant in Korea, it would have been in about 2008. I don’t have a name for you right now, but given time I can get all the information.”

  7. No Chris, I would not. If you aren’t inclined enough to get off your arse and find the truth, then what are you running this website for? To listen to preaching from the pulpit of Today Tonight? Come on…,seriously?
    Consider your own credibility. If you really want to be taken seriously by right thinking people, then be a bit objective and find out what you’re writing about instead of being a mouthpiece. You come off looking foolish…in the end.
    Try not to be a candidate for humble pie, sir.

  8. @AC (#9) – There are several posts on about Shift2Neutral ( I have asked Brett Goldsworthy questions about his carbon trading operations. He declined to answer the questions, but sent me a statement that was largely cut and pasted from the website of Avoided Deforestation Partners.

    If you have any concrete facts to contribute to this discussion, that would be great. Otherwise, I don’t think we have much to talk about.

  9. Chris. Your predisposition is all to apparent. The facts will speak for themselves. YOU have no facts. Remember you were told…
    Your questions are nothing short of impertinent. I’d tell you to “do one”, personally.
    So the facts are. An anti REDD campaigner, your mate the dodgy hack journalist at SMH and Paul Makin of Adelaides Today Tonight? Piles of credibility there…lol! Even Today Tonight Sydney, if such a joke exists, knew better than to touch this dog of a beat up.
    You’re correct. We don’t have much to talk about. I find myself arguing with a fool and so become the second of two fools in an argument.

  10. @AC

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s all a conspiracy, hack journalists, anti-REDD campaigners, people with a grudge…It’s got nothing to do with Brett Goldsworthy’s integrity, has it? There really isn’t a great long list of proven Shift2Neutral ‘non-projects’, is there?

    The guy is banged-to-rights, exposed, caught REDD-handed, and one carbon cowboy outfit has bitten the dust. Perhaps your concern is that all other carbon cowboy outfits will eventually go the same way – which surely they will.

    There’s no place to hide for people like Goldsworthy!

  11. Redd Monitor has been an interesting blog and correct transparent information, the only mistakes it makes is rehashing mischievousness media reports of individuals trying to do the right things.
    The whole climate change debate from the highest level of world governments supposed,
    “legal” regulated logging and the protection of the environment is and has been the biggest fiasco yet known to mankind.
    The simple objective of leaving the forests and their bio diversity alone and for polluters to take responsibility of their emissions has been ignored.
    Making polluters including incorporations and countries to pay for their emissions(footprint)to protect our planet is going no where unless you believe in donor pledges at cop meetings.
    REDD was then produced as a propellent to confuse , change and create the complete opposite to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation.
    REDD has begun a lawyers dream land of prosperity for lawyers , it has and is being used to steal land tenure from forest nations and their countries for one.
    REDD through the cop meetings is designed to brain wash administration of countries and give incorporation tools to confuse and control other peoples land “legally” or lawfully to International standards.
    The whole target is to formulate a World Bank to Carbon Trade the worlds bio diversity.
    My logic in support of Goldsworthy is.IF UNFCCC REDD promotes logging and replacing ancient forests with plantations and the VCS can validate a methodology for ‘Shell to extract peat moss’ then calculate these actions to be able to register Carbon Units, what has Goldsworthy really done wrong, other than to exclude UNFCC compliance and VCS standard from his business.
    Its very easy for Indigenous people to roll over under pressure especially in the south of the Philippines ,Goldsworthy has simply ‘tried’to do the right thing as others who are then labelled cowboys,its unfortunate that the world commercial media has a stake in the future World Carbon Bank , but as a well travelled Quarter session person(lol)I can see importantly both sides of the coin and the planet really could not be managed any worse , its so sad.

  12. “A witness”.
    Don’t say stupid stuff.
    The hack journalists don’t know or care about anything other than what someone with an axe to grind has spouted. If a story is spinnable into something people like you get off on, then they get paid. Their motives are ethically and morally questionable. People with a grudge or attempting to divert attention know this too.
    Young Chris here is good mates with the journo conned into this nonsense so his objectivity is also questionable.
    Smart people with legitimate cases utilise the appropriate authority. This nong, Hick,(quite an appropriate name, really) appears to have done none of that. What? No case?!Really! H o w s u r p r i s i n g…
    I’d lay money down on this all being investigated and nothing untoward being discovered.
    And the silence here will be deafening.;)

  13. @AC (#15) – I’ve never met Paul Makin. He interviewed me via skype for the programme he was making about Shift2Neutral.

    @greeniecap (#14) – As I pointed out earlier, there are several posts on about Shift2Neutral ( – this isn’t the only one. Goldsworthy may or may not be trying to do the right thing, but if he is, why can he not point to the projects that are generating the carbon credits he is selling? Why can he not explain how the process of free, prior and informed consent was carried out in his projects (in particular the one in the Philippines)? Why can he not explain how Shift2Neutral calculates how much carbon is stored in the forests?

  14. @ Greenie cap

    Goldsworthy is “Trying to do the right thing”???? What, like setting up a REDD ‘deal’ that supposedly covers all of DR Congo’s one million square kilometers of forest, that is then promptly declared illegal by the Congolese authorities?

    You seem to forget that REDD currently has no basis in international law, no operating norms or technical standards, no agreed operational safeguards, no regulatory regime, no monitoring body or criteria, no agreed financial framework, no appeal body, no benefit distribution mechanisms, no legislative basis in almost all countries, and almost no support from people actually living in forests.

    Under these circumstances it is obvious that the only ‘right thing’ to do would be to do nothing.

  15. @ Chis Lang,

    To accurately measure a forests capacity is the biggest question mark?
    So far the scientists have made a mockery of this very important matter.
    When one studies the Methodologies that have suddenly appeared and consultants theories as McKinsey no wonder the whole issue is in turmoil.
    I ask you to study one so called methodology being REDD and Peat Moss pushed through by Shell and the Clinton foundation.
    Take the time to study the area of land and then the annual calculation of Carbon Credits and your question will be answered.
    If Goldworthy(as a example) could evaluate and monitor a forest area annually and prove it is not being logged or polluted that measurement is accurate.
    However he would probably need a army to achieve this as the projects biggest enemy is the Governments who rule the forest nations and the world logging regulators .
    The value of that would be priceless.

  16. @ Chris Lang ,
    I have just track down some documentation from Goldsworthy to one of his proposed or buyers of his credits.
    He has clearly stated that shift2 has its own certification process and this process is not complete and therefore he does not have a measurement.
    Click on 1 Bob H its a letter to India before some sort of a agreement.
    It appears Goldsworthy can not answer your question Chris because he has no idea, but he does make that clear.
    It obvious Bob H is crying over money he has invested….. there is an old saying.”Buyer Beware” or in BH case investor,
    I must say the information mentioned above and other docs looks very shonky.
    You have to be retarded to even consider investing into a business plan with its own certification and the Philippines.Everyone knows the(NPA) New Peoples Army controls Mindanao and USA would never let any large amounts of money to be circulated in that area , but seriously today is any other verification process to certify carbon credits for forest protection any better.

  17. @ A Witness
    Anyone taking the stance to protect rainforests in any way is doing the right thing as nobody gives a dam(commercially) about the planets bio diversity or the social elements within.
    Which Congolese authorities are you talking about?I wonder if their friend is the same authority we have in PNG Wari Iamo ,who’s best friend is the logging companies.
    Oh of course there are millions of lefties and thousands of journalists consultants , experts and goody good shoes who have been tutored by the sensational expectations by the planets so called leaders.
    Al Gore for one.
    Who have cleverly used Climate Change to make a expectational viable profit.
    Although nothing has been done to reduce emissions.
    REDD–yes you are 100% correct REDD and REDD+ is a disgrace and is a complete con to acquire land to make secure a World Carbon Bank at the peril and cost of anyone that will be born to the world of the future if allowed.
    Again Yes if the world could do nothing to the planets forests, bio diversity and hydrology it would be the right thing but they cant.

  18. @ Greenie cap

    I am certainly not under any illusion about the Congolese authorities – who possibly could be when they handed out 20+ million hectares of logging rights, all illegally (though more recently have been closing a lot of those operations down again). But the fact is that there is no legal framework for REDD in DRC, Goldsworthy cut a deal with one particular individual in the government who was clearly in no position to do such a deal, and the forest minister (who no doubt has his own interests) quickly pointed out the lack of legal validity of the deal and anulled it.

    If nothing else, Goldsworthy was being staggeringly stupid to think he could do such a deal in DR Congo, without the slightest reference to the forestry administration, to say nothing of the 40 million or so people that live in those forests or depend on them.

    And what evidence do you have to think that Goldsworthy is “taking the stance to protect rainforests”? If he were interested in that then he wouldn’t be running around the planet completely discrediting the concept of REDD.

    As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions…

  19. @ A Witness ,
    Land Tenure is more than a issue in Forest Nations granted.

    Goldsworthy is stupid in many ways agreed , especially his verifying concept to create a trading instrument.

    Good question regarding ‘evidence’ and this is entirely up to Goldsworthy as I can not answer it.

    REDD , it has been discrediting its own self for many years now.

    There is no longer road than the road to appropriate forest protection , it appears we will be all be dead and buried before we ever get to heaven or hell.

  20. There has been a avalanche of people coming forward who are Victims of Goldsworthy frauds ……I do not really give a damm about the money and 9 months work i lost, its the false hope and damage he did to the tribes that hurt.. what a cruel trick to issue the tribal leaders with credit cards with not one centarvo in them…..he continually made outlandish promises and did not deliver on them… Read the reports in the Sydney Morning Herald etc , that were totally unrelated to me …..There is nothing about this evil man that is not a fraud..

  21. Not Paul Makin, Chris. I’m talking about Ben “beatup” Cubby. You’re more than passing acquaintances if your “tweets” are anything to go by.
    You see, that’s diversionary behaviour Chris. Subterfuge, chicanery, call it what you like.
    You’re demonstarting poor form.
    Try and do better.

  22. @AC (#24) – No, I’ve never met Ben Cubby either. He interviewed me via email for his article about Shift2Neutral. The entire conversation on twitter went as follows:

    @bencubby Ben Cubby
    @reddmonitor hello Chris, im trying to get in touch to talk about REDD for a story. I can be reached at bcubby [at] Thanks
    6 Apr via web

    @reddmonitor Chris Lang
    @bencubby – nice article! – loved the quotation from Goldsworthy “it’s all legit”, I just can’t remember any details…
    8 Apr

    @bencubby Ben Cubby
    @reddmonitor thanks for your help Chris
    8 Apr via web

    So, three tweets and two emails (one from Cubby to me and my reply). I wouldn’t even describe that as a passing acquaintance.

  23. Its about time AC apologised to Chris Lang and ate all his humble pie..

  24. This guy Goldsworthy is running nowhere fast. He now has to waste his ‘precious’ business time trying to put out spot fires that he has lit himself. Just like a little boy playing with matches and whoops something goes up in flames. “If I hide over here maybe noone will find me”. What a life! Problem is people have found him and he has been exposed.

    Noone will now go near him with a 100ft bargepole. Doesn’t sound too bright to me. What sort of smart businessman provokes such indignation. Who’ll trust their hard earned with him now? The best thing the SMH and Today Tonight did was to expose this joker. Maybe Goldsworthy will now hire a lawyer to take on the corporate media and get their websites removed. I doubt it. Corporate fees would be way out of his league to take em on, so now he has to sit there and take it. Must feel very satisfying, partlicularly when trying to sleep wondering what else is going to be exposed (and there must be alot).

    Actually maybe he has done all of us a favour. He has made it easy to argue against these REDD’s and sooner or later the regulators will start honing in and I wonder how he will sleep then. Oh well there’s always Centrelink.