WND research reveals the European Union’s cap-and-trade exchange is vulnerable to a sophisticated form of corporate extortion in which EU bureaucrats in Brussels are manipulated into paying hundreds of millions of dollars in carbon-permit bribes to keep companies from moving jobs to Third World nations.

In fact, it appears the scam is already under way.

The crux of the scheme is this: European steelmakers have threatened to leave the EU for India, eliminating the jobs of thousands of workers in the process, unless the EU grants the steelmakers free carbon credits worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Eurofer, a European trade group, is at the center of the scheme. The web of the plot, however, weaves in not only several companies, but also the United Nations’ climate-change chief:

  • Among its members, Eurofer represents two EU steelmakers, Corus Redcar and ArcelorMittal, each of which has ties to India as well as to Rajendra K. Pachauri, the Indian industrial engineer who has been chairman of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 2002.
  • Eurofer appears to have coordinated a threat to the European Union Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading System that its steelmakers would move their operations from the EU to India unless the EU cap-and-trade exchange issued them – at no cost – carbon-emissions permits worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • Once the bureaucrats in Brussels acquiesced, Corus Redcar and ArcelorMittal maneuvered to cash in windfall profits from the EU carbon permits given them at no cost.
  • Additionally, Corus Redcar has now announced a decision to close operations in Great Britain nonetheless and relocate its steelmaking activities to India in order to gain additional U.N. carbon credits.

Ironically, EU and U.N. officials, who might have thought requiring cap-and-trade permits would operate as a “protection racket” in which EU companies need to buy carbon credits to continue operations, have now found themselves on the losing end of the reverse scheme.

In the final analysis, the winners are the European Union corporations willing to play hardball with the European Union Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading System, and the losers are the EU middle-class workers that are held hostage in the scheme.

Furthermore, WND research on the EU emissions-trading system continues to suggest “follow the money” may explain the enthusiasm the U.N. has shown in pursuing global caps on carbon emissions, despite doubts surfacing in the scientific community about the validity of the underlying global-warming hypothesis.

Rajendra K. Pachauri

Last week, WND reported a Mumbai-based Indian multinational conglomerate with ties to IPCC Chair Pachauri stands to make several hundred million dollars in carbon credits simply by closing Corus Redcar, a steel-production facility in Britain, with the loss of 1,700 jobs.

Another carbon-trading scam tying back to Pachauri involves Great Britain’s richest man, Lakshmi Mittal, an Indian citizen who resides in London.

Mittal stands to gain a £1 billion windfall, not from the operation of his ArcelorMittal steel company, but from carbon credits given his company – at no cost – by the EU emissions-trading scheme.

The London Times has reported that after ArcelorMittal and Eurofer intensively lobbied EU bureaucrats in Brussels, the company was granted far more carbon permits than the company needed in order to operate under EU carbon-emission regulations.

According to the Times, the steelmakers represented by Eurofer threatened to move plants to India at a cost of 90,000 European jobs, to take advantage of lower labor costs in India and additional carbon credits that would be issued by the U.N. for relocating to a Third World country.

ArcelorMittal, now free to sell its surplus carbon permits on the market or hoard them for future use, stands to gain around £1 billion by 2012, when the prospect of the eventual gain could be even greater.

Currently, EU carbon permits are worth about £12.70, but the EU has stated an intention to drive the price above £30.

“Between 2008 and 2012, ArcelorMittal stands to gain assets worth £1 billion at today’s prices for scant effort,” Anna Pearson, an expert on the trading system, told the Times. “For them the ETS has been turned into a system for generating free subsidies.”

EU steelmaker has ties to U.N. climate chief

On Dec. 10, 2007, U.N. climate chief Pachauri accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the IPCC – which shared it with Al Gore – for their work on global warming.

But Pachauri also has a role in the businesses working the system to profit from carbon-trading credits.

In 1974, the Tata Group – which operates the Corus Redcar U.K. plant – provided the financial resources to found the Tata Energy Research Institute, a policy organization headquartered in New Delhi, India, of which Pachauri has been chairman since the group was formed.

As WND reported last week, Corus Redcar accumulated a reported 7.5 million EU surplus carbon allowances given the company free by the ETS after the lobbying effort with Brussels bureaucrats.

Continued business ties between TERI and Tata are demonstrated by a press announcement on the TERI website dated Feb. 4, 2009, in which Jairam Ramesh, the Indian minister of state for commerce and industry as well as minister of state for power, announced a joint venture with TERI and Tata power to extract and use carbon dioxide for the propagation of microalgae.

Strong-arm tactics win carbon permits in cap-and-trade exchange

The European Union Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading System began operations in January 2005, billing itself as “the largest multi-country, multi-sector Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading system worldwide.”

The ETS acts as a cap-and-trade exchange in which EU bureaucrats set carbon-emission limits for various corporations emitting carbon in their operations.

Corporations emitting more carbon than permitted under the EU carbon-emissions scheme are required to buy carbon permits on the ETS exchange.

Corporations with excess carbon permits are permitted to sell those permits on the ETS exchange.

The Corporate European Observatory, a public-interest research group headquartered in Brussels, documented in a Dec. 7 report entitled “The EU: A Hollow Champion for the Climate” how the financial crisis (and intense lobbying) let the “polluting industry off hook.”

The report concluded that the ETS is vulnerable to extortion-like tactics exerted by corporate groups, such as the steelmakers represented by Eurofer.

The report also indicates EU corporations seeking concessions on carbon credits have employed strong-arm tactics, including threats to move operations to lower-cost countries with less onerous carbon-emission restrictions outside the EU, which would result in substantial numbers of European jobs lost.

Note: If you’re a member of the media and would like to interview Jerome Corsi, e-mail WND.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.