By Chris Lang
London Carbon Credit Company is the most recent carbon trading scam to be exposed by Daily Mirror journalist Andrew Penman. According to London Carbon Credit Company, “the future is bright for carbon trading”. But not for the people who buy the carbon credits.
Penman reports on Bob Wright, an investor who handed over £7,900 to London Carbon Credit Company for “voluntary emission reduction” credits. But Robin Keyte, an independent financial advisor, told Penman that, “I cannot find any information as to the current tradeable value of your reader’s carbon credits.” Keyte added that he was worried that, “they may be impossible to trade and have little or no value”.
The company did not answer Penman’s phone calls or emails and Penman discovered that the company’s office in Central London is a virtual office. This is not the only case of someone losing their money to London Carbon Credit Company, as this post on a fraud advice forum reveals:
London Carbon Credit Company was incorporated in the UK in June 2011 and has one director, called Young Erumuse. In October 2011, Erumuse set up two more companies: The London Carbon Company Ltd; and Carbon Acquisitions Limited. He was, well, reluctant to speak to Penman. He initially denied that he was Erumuse, then he promised to contact Penman “tomorrow”, after Penman gave him his Daily Mirror business card. He didn’t contact Penman.
Penman points out that the company’s website used to feature a series of impressive looking logos, including the Gold Standard certification scheme, a green collective called Ethical Junction and the Verified Carbon Standard. All three logos have now been removed because the London Carbon Credit Company did not have permission to use them. A spokeswoman at the Gold Standard told Penman it would send London Carbon Credit Company a cease and desist letter.
However, London Carbon Credit Company’s website still claims links with another organisation – the Clinton Foundation:
“London Carbon Credit Company is currently in advanced negotiations with the world renowned Clinton Foundation to be sole UK provider of carbon credits produced from the Clinton Climate Initiative’s Carbon Capture and Forestry projects.”
London Carbon Credit Company provided the same information in a press release, dated 16 October 2011. The press release doesn’t include any quotations from anyone at the Clinton Foundation or any information about which Clinton Foundation projects might be involved. However, London Carbon Credit Company’s website includes the following Clinton Foundation projects in a list of what it calls “our voluntary carbon offsetting projects”:
REDD-Monitor has written to the Clinton Foundation and looks forward to posting its response.
From: Chris Lang
Date: 13 September 2012 15:41
Subject: Clinton Foundation and London Carbon Credits Company
To: Clinton Foundation
Dear Sir or Madam,
Greetings from Jakarta! My name is Chris Lang and I run a website called REDD-Monitor (redd-monitor.org).
As you may be aware, a UK-based carbon trading company, London Carbon Credits Company, claims on its website (http://bit.ly/PdmfwL) to be,
“in advanced negotiations with the world renowned Clinton Foundation to be sole UK provider of carbon credits produced from the Clinton Climate Initiative’s Carbon Capture and Forestry projects.”
The company put this out in a press release on 16 October 2011 (http://bit.ly/UN5PNL).
London Carbon Credits Company’s website also has a list of “our voluntary carbon offsetting projects”, which currently includes two Clinton Foundation projects:
Bill Clinton Climate Initiative – Tanzania Forestry Project
Forestry and land use
CCI is working with 13 villages to design a REDD+ project that seeks to enable them to derive revenues from sustainable timber harvesting as well as carbon sales. CCI’s scope of services runs… (http://bit.ly/QOyVxC)
Trees of Hope Malawi
Forestry and land use
The Trees of Hope is a community-based carbon offset program with the Clinton Foundation operating in Malawi since October 2007 which aims to improve rural livelihoods and mitigate climate change… (http://bit.ly/TVYH1U)
It appears that the London Carbon Credits Company cold calls people to encourage them to buy carbon credits (http://bit.ly/Pl3K7O). And at least one investor seems to have lost £7,900 to London Carbon Credits Company (http://bit.ly/Qe1B17).
I would be grateful if you could answer the following questions:
- Could you please confirm whether the Clinton Foundation is (or has been) in negotiations with London Carbon Credits Company.
- Have any carbon credits from any Clinton Foundation projects have been sold to London Carbon Credits Company?
- Is it possible that London Carbon Credits Company could have bought credits from a Clinton Foundation project from a third party and could therefore legitimately claim to be selling carbon credits from Clinton Foundation projects in Tanzania and Malawi?
- Does the Clinton Foundation take any precautions to ensure that its name, reputation and its projects are not used to legitimise the questionable activities of companies like London Carbon Credits Company? If so what, and if not, why not?
Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you. Please consider your response to be on the record.
Best wishes, Chris Lang