Saturday, February 27, 2010

Carbon Credits - For Real Or a Fraud?

By Julian G Smith

Carbon credits. They are the newest innovation that is allowing those of us that cannot escape living in a world that is ruthless with its environment a little more, well, easy sleeping perhaps, as we strive to give back what we take out. But it seems that many of us are not satisfied with the way carbon credits are being used.

A recent Australian study showed that many consumers are unhappy with carbon credit usage. Not only that, but many do not know exactly how carbon credit trading schemes operate, probably leading to criticism about how successful they actually are. Of those that do not know how they work, the study showed that only 28% trusted that carbon trading schemes would make a difference.

The research study published on December 3rd 2009 draws on survey responses from almost 1800 general consumers and reveals that only one third of consumers are happy for the carbon credits they earn and trade, to be offered to large carbon producers as offsets. Over 50% of respondents are not happy for this to happen. In addition the notion of the so called solar multiplier, where 'bonus' credits are created as a consumer incentive without corresponding carbon reduction was rejected out of hand; only 20% of consumers believing this were a good idea.

It seems that the carbon credits concept has brought out a wide range of reactions and opinions in the community. Many people are asking for the ability to only offer credits to those organisations making sustained incentives to reduce carbon emissions. Some believe carbon trading is a fraud, others believe it is simply a ploy to 'fleece' the public of their money. Whatever your opinion, no one can deny that the Kyoto Protocol's arguably most discussed concept is certainly making some waves.

Julian Smith is managing director at Neco Holdings Pty Ltd. Established in 2004, Neco is the leading Australian specialist service provider in energy and water conservation, for residential and commercial settings. Neco has established itself as a market leader by taking an unashamedly eco-entrepreneurial approach to a sector predominantly characterized by 'not for profit' organisations. With the largest on-line eco store, Neco's ethos is to provide products and services that are eco friendly yet stylish and functional. Learn more at http://www.neco.com.au

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