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Interview with Paul Mark Green, Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange: “I decided to set a goal to aid clients in exiting the market”

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Earlier this week, a commenter on REDD-Monitor asked about a company called Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange. My response was sceptical. It seemed to me that this was a company that looked as though it was attempting to profit by selling over-priced voluntary carbon credits.

A large number of people in the UK have been sold overpriced voluntary carbon credits by companies claiming that carbon credits are a good investment. To their cost, the buyers of these carbon credits have found that selling them, at any price, is currently extremely difficult. Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange offers to sell these carbon credits to companies looking to offset their emissions – for a price. The company charges a minimum “admin fee” of £450 to people wanting to sell carbon credits, and a 6% “handling fee” to the companies buying the carbon credits.

On 22 April 2013, I received an email from Paul Green, the director of Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange, explaining that he was in the process of setting up a company to “exit people from the carbon market” and asked for my advice about whether I thought this was feasible. A couple of hours later Green sent another email, this time expressing his concerns about my criticisms of his company.

The following day, Paul Green wrote again, inviting REDD-Monitor to send questions to him about his company. I did so, and Paul Green resplied by email the following day. The questions and answers are posted here in full and unedited.

REDD-Monitor: In a comment on REDD-Monitor, I wrote that Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange “looks like part 2 of the carbon credits boiler room scam”. Part 1 involves selling voluntary carbon credits that are almost worthless. Part 2 involves offering to recover the investor’s money as long as they hand over more money. Your company’s minimum “admin fee” is £450. Why is the fee so high, and what do your clients receive in return? Please break down the costs to your company covered by this “admin fee”.

Paul Mark Green: Regarding the fees we charge we are always trying to keep costing down and as you may of read we do not make a profit until completion of the offset. We obtain a profit by charging the company that wishes to become carbon neutral a handling fee and by charging this on completion we hope shows our clients we have the same goal as them to exit as soon as possible. Regarding the £450 and upwards fees that are quoted on our website this fee is solely used to buy data on our clients behalf and also used for the charges issued by the registries to change the ownership of credits with them ( nearer completion a form authorised by the registry is forwarded to the client ). Every client that we bring on we will buy a data file of companies or clients that have already been contacted by a call centre and filtered through to those that are only interested in becoming carbon neutral as this will make less man hours in quoting. The data we purchase costs a minimum of £800 for 180 warm leads already looking into carbon neutrality which is far more than the lower fees, the more credits someone wishes to sell the more data we will need to purchase. At a later date we would hope that we wont need to charge a fee for the data side as we will have a full data base but currently we are still in the process of building this side of the business, the data we have is a unrivalled list but still needs to be grown. So the fees charged gives the client a whole data file that is solely used for their credits as in many instances we have had to complete multiple offset deals as we are working in the voluntary market and only approach small to medium companies and on calculating the offset charges we only quote the company an outlay of £2000 – ­£4000 to complete the offset.

REDD-Monitor: You previously worked for Enviro Associates, a company that sold voluntary carbon credits as an investment. Presumably, you therefore know the actual price that Enviro Associates paid for its carbon credits and the inflated price that it sold them on as a so-called “investment”. The cheapest carbon credits on your “Trading Exchange” when I looked on 22 April 2013 were £3.50 (no details of the project generating the carbon credits or the number of credits for sale was provided, however). Most of the carbon credits in the “Trading Exchange” were priced at £7.50. Many of these were for hydropower projects, which as you know are actually worth “less than £1 per tonne”, as Edward Hanrahan of ClimateCare points out. In 2012, Andy Ager, ex-head of carbon and emissions at Bache Commodities, reckoned they were worth less than 50 pence. How do you propose finding companies that are willing to pay so much for near worthless carbon credits?

Paul Mark Green: Regarding my time at Enviro this company is the reason I set up my company and decided to set a goal to aid clients in exiting the market. I was constantly being asked about exit strategies from clients and was advised to tell clients that a platform would be available sometime in the future, I also forwarded questions to CNI as had concerns with the industry and could not understand why people could not exit the market but none of the responses I received seemed acceptable. In my time at Enviro I offset numerous companies and could not understand why we could not re sell existing clients credits for an offset and help make the client returns and make the company carbon neutral. The market was derived for this purpose and after contacting a few registries I discovered that this was feasible by paying the registry a fee to change the ownership, and a fee to retire the credits from the registry this was achievable and this is how my company was formed. As the market is a voluntary market their is no fixed price or average price and comes down to how much someone is willing to pay for credits or how good the broker is at selling them. Most of my clients had paid prices from £4.00 ­- £6.00 and by offering £7.50 would show a slight return and as companies work on a budget the price per ton was not as important as the overall cost. Many brokers have been charging anything from £9.00 -­ £12 a ton so £7.50 would still be lower quotes than the companies have already received. Regarding the comments by Climate Care they deal mainly with the compliance market and regulations in the market mean that comes have strict requirements regarding credits and the information held, as the voluntary market has no regulation and the companies involved do not have to become carbon neutral the vintage etc is not a concern for the company as they are more interested in become carbon neutral for marketing purposes. And the vintage and project a credit has come from is always over sold or sold up by a broker to sell it for more and from our experiences a carbon credit regardless of its origin has the same monetary value as another as it is solely used to issue an offset certificate to a company, if regulation comes into play that would require this to change we will then be happy to comply but at this stage our main interest is to aid the client in making a return however small it maybe in some circumstances. Not all companies will accept our quote but we state if they receive a lower quote we can look to match this by going back to our client and asking if they wish to lower there asking price as it is solely down to the client we only recommend £7.50 as an average and compared to other companies is a good starting price.

REDD-Monitor: It’s worth working through an example. On 22 April 2013, at the top of the “Trading Exchange” page on your website were 8,200 credits from Jaiprakash Hydro, selling at £7.50. The carbon credits would cost £61,500 plus your 6% “handling fee” which would come to £3,690, giving a total of £65,190. These credits are generated by a 300 MW hydropower project in India. According to Andy Ager 8,200 similar credits could easily be bought for less than £4,100 (only a little more than your “handling fee”). What kind of sales pitch would you need to convince companies to buy these credits at such an inflated price?

Paul Mark Green: Again as mentioned the price is negotiable and many companies do not go into the specifics as it is a voluntary market, they are mainly concerned with the overall price and the notion to declare themselves as carbon neutral. The compliance market are mainly concerned with the overall price and the notion to declare themselves as carbon neutral. The compliance market which many of the companies you refer to are involved in have more regulation and are required to disclose more information. The voluntary market is a lot simpler to get involved in and the main criteria is to confirm the registry has retired your credits so you can class your company as carbon neutral. We have contacted the FSA for assistance in the market but as a carbon credit is not a financial commodity its an environmental commodity they can not assist. They can look to approval us for handling money but this is the only regulation they can offer to us. Andy Ager would be correct in stating prices for credits is low but many credits even now are bought for pence and sold for pounds and this is the main flaw in the market but we aim to make the client a return and if a company is not prepared to pay the price quoted we will negotiate this with the client and company.

REDD-Monitor: Your “Trading Exchange” does not mention the vintage of the carbon credits – the year that the emissions reductions took place. As you are aware, the older the vintage, the cheaper the carbon credit. Why did you omit this important piece of information? And how could you possibly expect to sell carbon credits to companies without this information?

Paul Mark Green: Again you maybe confused with speaking to too many brokers regarding the particles of a credit many companies main concern is the price and obtaining the certificate. The market is not developed enough to be able to determine that one credits is worth more than another, the market was derived to assist in renewable energy and reducing carbon and by a company voluntarily investing into the market they are doing their bit. The only people that will spin you a yarn about credits vintage etc will be a broker as this is a sales tactic used to create more revenue, this may change in the future but the voluntary market does not need these particles and when a company becomes carbon neutral often than not they will change their logos to state they are a carbon neutral company and will not disclose the detail of the project apart form on their website. Nearly every company we speak to have no idea of the market because of how complex it is and the decision maker will have one goal of becoming carbon neutral and a budget to do this, we try and cater this and as it is voluntary market the company requirements will differ than the compliant.

REDD-Monitor: In your email to REDD-Monitor on 22 April 2013, you explained that you were “currently in the process of setting a company out that can realistically exit people from the carbon market and wanted some advice to confirm this is feasible.” In fact, you registered the company Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange on 31 December 2012. You registered the website on 20 November 2012. Your website boasts that Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange are “The Exit Stratergy [sic] Experts”. Yet you’re sending around emails asking whether the idea behind the company if feasible. Why are you now asking for advice?

Paul Mark Green: My email to you was to help build a business acquaintance as I mentioned I have numerous clients that have been seriously scammed by brokers and we have offered our services for free due to their circumstances. I wanted your help in naming and shaming them and was hoping to build an alliance and in the future and any clients you and I deemed as urgently requiring assistance I would look to offer the same free service to them and help build some trust and confidence within the market. Instead of receiving an e mail asking who the brokers was, or what the clients details was so you could contact them you remark on your site I could be part 2 of a scam? This was not my intentions I was trying to offer assistance to those clients that needed it. Regarding advice and why now, as above I have now come into contact with clients that are not in a situation to out lay any funds and as have had the police involved so I wanted to help them and was hoping you could and that is why contact was instigated by me. I also asked for guidance with my company in terms of my business plan as we are always looking for ways to improve our service and turn around times and was hoping you may give guidance. We are still in our early days of trading and are looking for as many ways we can to find alliances in a hard market and ways to improve our service.

REDD-Monitor: Is your office in Wessex House, Eastleigh a virtual office? If not, how many people work in the office in addition to you? Which floor are you on?

Paul Mark Green: We are based in Wessex House, and the second floor office is to be moved as we are recruiting more staff and need more space. We will still be in the same building but will be moving into a larger room on the next floor up. We also have an office in Southampton business park but this is used for our field agents as the first base in the south. Over time we will hope to have these spread through the U.K. The details of our office move will be documented on our website.

REDD-Monitor: You told me in your 22 April 2013 email that you “unfortunately worked as a broker for 3 months”, yet your LinkedIn page states that you worked as a “Stock Broker” for Enviro Associates for 10 months. Which is correct?

Paul Mark Green: I apologise if stated three I was there longer and can only say that it was an error of me not proof reading my email before I sent it as I was there about 10 months maybe a month less. I did learn about the market in more detail but as stated they opened my eyes to how brokers operate and is why I stipulate we are not a broker, and have no affiliation to brokers. Brokers do not do the carbon market justice and we do not in any way want to be in the same affiliation as brokers and this is why we do not sell carbon credits.

REDD-Monitor: Your LinkedIn page describes your company as follows:

“The Trading Exchange is the first and only easily accessible platform to buy and sell VER. We have teamed up with net builder and developed a platform allowing clients to buy and sell between them and the option for small to medium businesses to offset.”

When I looked at your “Trading Exchange” on 22 April 2013, it was not working – nothing happened why I tried clicking on the “Buy” button. Who was the “net builder”? I note that you’ve now removed the table of carbon credits from the “Trading Exchange” page on your website. Why? What happened to the carbon credits that were advertised there? What happened to the “platform”? Have you given refunds to your clients whose carbon credits were previously advertised on the “Trading Exchange”?

Paul Mark Green: The credits was first placed on the site in case we had hits to the website from companies and they would be able to see what projects we had available. I felt this made the company appear unprofessional and we would much prefer a company to call and enquire about availability. We still are looking to sell the credits but our business model mainly involves us calling the clients and companies on the data we have bought and offering quotes to become carbon neutral and the quotes are calculated using the clients credits, it is a simple model but as you can imagine businesses can take their time to proceed due to budgets and getting quotes signed off but we will keep quoting until we have fully exited the client. We are always open for suggestions in speeding this process up and was why I asked for advice from yourself, but we may also look to attend road shows in the UK and try and drum up business and conventions as well. Regarding net builder they are a company that derived a trading platform for Barclays Bank to help aid there asset management trading software. We have a business plan with them to build and develop a platform that will work primarily as a on line platform for companies to bid and purchase credits on line and also to help calculate a trend in prices and hopefully introduce a structure for selling. The over package for software is in stages and is extremely expenses so we are having delays with getting it up and running. This does not effect us trading and exiting from the market as we currently call companies and visit them face to face to achieve offsetting them. The on line platform would be used solely for companies to purchase on line and would hope to have it linked into the registries. Because of the complexities involved with this type of development it will be on going for a while but will no way hinder our current business model.

REDD-Monitor: Have you, so far, managed to sell any carbon credits via the Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange?

Paul Mark Green: We have been been successfully in offsetting companies and exiting clients and that is why I am confident in our business model because we have already achieved it. Business recently has gone quiet and I am unsure if it is due to us being discussed on forums or the nature of the industry but we keep our clients up to date and have always stated if we get to a point that the clients feels we are not trying our hardest to exit them we will look to refund any fees paid to date. We have already refunded one client who decided to sell else were but since has realised the other company who you have already discussed on your site recently was not legitimate and have now come back to us.

I hope now we can look to build an acquaintance and would be keen for you to assist with my clients who are struggling to get the authorities to aid them in bringing the brokers to justice.
 

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95 Comments

  1. Can they realistically help us sell our credits held with CNI?

  2. I guess only time will tell. But at least they are not trying to sell us more credits to become a client, which is the story we have heard many times before.

  3. @Rachel (#1) and @Mike (#2) – The problem that I see with Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange’s plans is that the company is trying to sell carbon credits that are worth about 50 pence for £7.50. The only way of doing this is by making misleading claims about the value of the carbon credits. Which is how we got into this mess in the first place.

    The only difference is that Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange is trying to sell carbon credits to companies to offset their emissions and not to the public as an investment (if we are to believe Paul Green).

  4. I have known Paul Green for some time now and am a client of his.
    I am satisfied that his intentions are entirely honourable and he is trying his best to exit his clients, however patience is a virtue, mine have not sold yet.

  5. Chris
    In a market with so little transparency the ‘value’ is really just what someone is prepared to pay for them. Maybe, somewhere down the line, a company is buying the credits in bulk direct from projects at 50p. They are selling these on through wholesalers such as CNI and Carbonex at a markup. CNI and Carbonex take a cut to make them available to brokers and brokers take a cut to sell them on to investors. We don’t know the details. Take general retail – if I buy anything from a shop, you can bet that the shop bought it from their supplier for about half what I pay. The supplier may have bought it from a wholesaler in Europe who bought it direct from factory in China. I’m not saying £7.50 is the right price to sell to firms, but I’m not saying its wrong. We just don’t know.

  6. Chris,

    Speaking as someone who currently has a VER holding, I take great offence in your continuing attempt to devalue the market.

    I have have mentioned in the past Climate Care sell carbon offsets on their own website for £7.50 per tonne; and their response to this comment was far from acceptable, yet you have not chosen to pursue this irregularity.

    If you go to the link below:
    http://metro.co.uk/2011/09/29/bp-funds-carbon-offset-scheme-for-london-2012-olympics-167108/

    you can see that BP, who created a carbon offsetting scheme for the London 2012 Olympics, purchased credits at an average price of £5.46 per tonne.

    If you had any knowledge or experience of ‘spot-pricing’ you would understand that the concept of something being ‘worth’ a set figure is superfluous.

    With reference to Paul Green and ‘Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange’; anyone with half a brain or any level of understanding of the market can see that he has no idea what he is talking about; and I suggest that you attempt to somehow qualify the comments you post as people will continue to be misled and misinformed. Hence, the article is about as useful as Mr Paul Green hosting a university lecture about Quantum Mechanics.

  7. George
    As someone with a 1st Class degree in Maths from Oxford, I purport to have half a brain and am arguably qualified to host a lecture in Quantum Mechanics, though admittedly the other half went AWOL when I invested in carbon credits.

    So please enlighten us further.

  8. @George Sampson (#6) – I’m assuming that anyone with half a brain can read the interview with Paul Green and work out for themselves whether he has any idea what he is talking about.

    I would love to hear why you think ClimateCare’s response was “far from acceptable”. Please comment after that post:

    How much does a carbon credit cost? “There is no such thing as a generic price,” says ClimateCare’s Edward Hanrahan

    Let’s see what we can agree on – please feel free to comment!

    1. There is no single price for a voluntary carbon credit.

    2. However, 2010 vintage VERs from a large hydropower project in India are going to be cheaper to buy than 2012 vintage VERs from a cooking stove project in Africa.

    3. In “offsetting” emissions from the Olympics, BP sold almost 100,000 carbon offsets. Before buying these credits, they had a 6-step due diligence process. Nothing in this process involved contacting members of the public who may have wanted to sell their overpriced VERs to BP.

  9. Chris,

    The point is that you would need half a brain to know whether Paul Green knew what he was talking about nor not.

    The pricings in the voluntary market are project dependent; even though 1 VCS credit have the same CO2e as another VCS credit. If there is no such thing as a generic price, then why create one?? Climate Care do not sell credits for 50p per tonne. Their standard price is £7.50 which is made up of a portfolio of projects.

    Carbon credits have without doubt been miss sold, however I have a vested interest in the development of the voluntary carbon market, and as such wish to see it grow in the appropriate manner. Scaremongering is only going to do the exact opposite.

  10. I’d happily pay a fee of £500 or £800 or a set percentage to sell my Carbon Credits but the fee would have to be deducted from the sale price. As I am providing the credits to sell which I have purchased at my own expense so the seller has no risk factor I am hardly going to put good money after bad in a fee scam where the company pays its wages, its expenses and then goes bust leaving me with no fee return and no sale.

    When a company comes along who can sell in a normal way please let me know. If they can sell my 2500 credits @ £7.50 I’d be happy to give them 10% or even 15% in the same way that I pay an Estate Agent to sell my house, on completion and not before.

  11. People who sell credits are all a bunch of scam artists capitalising on an ignorant public. I am not saying sustainability is not important, of course it is, but credits is NOT the way to go about it; at least not voluntary credits.

    First of all, it is becoming disputed as to the actual impact of CO2 and other GHGs. CO2 is absorbed into the oceans and rocks, so the proportion that is going into the atmosphere is going to be far less than the 0.28% CO2 makes up of GHGs contribution to global warming – water vapour which no one says a word about, is the most potent contributing 95% of the total GHG effect. Thus getting people to buy credits to offset carbon because its contributing to climate change is garbage. Limit N2O, and HFCs etc. but CO2 reductions are irrelevant. The Sun is getting more powerful anyways so what good is cutting emissions of CO2 going to do? The planet will heat up anyways!

    Additionally, as a scientist who has studied climate change, why does no one mention temperature increases due to CO2 LAG CO2 increases by about 800-100 years?!? In other words, any increase in temp occurring now is due to CO2 levels about millennia ago!

    In my opinion, we just need to accept climate change BUT live more sustainably so that the 7 bln+ people on this planet can survive rather than worrying about CO2 levels and scaring people into buying something NO-ONE wants i.e. carbon credits. The fact that we have thing like the EU ETS (which is collapsing) highlights no-one will buy these thing of their own free will.

    The planet wll take care of climate change the way it has in the past hundreds, if not thousands of times – an ice-age!

  12. @George Sampson (#9) – I was working on the assumption that readers of REDD-Monitor were in possession of (at least) half a brain.

    Who is creating a generic price for voluntary carbon credits? “There is no such thing as a generic price,” as ClimateCare’s Edward Hanrahan said. ClimateCare sells carbon credits at £7.50, but that doesn’t make it a generic price.

    I’m trying to understand the market for voluntary carbon credits, not scaremongering. It seems pretty clear to me that there is practically no secondary market. People or companies can buy voluntary carbon credits to “offset” their emissions. And that’s it. “You would only buy voluntary carbon credits to offset your carbon foot print. There is no other economic reason,” as Andrew Ager, ex-head of carbon and emissions at Bache Commodities, put it.

  13. @Jack K (#11) – I agree with you that voluntary carbon credits are not the way to go about addressing climate change. To address climate change we need to stop burning fossil fuels.

    You are right that the EU ETS is collapsing. But that has nothing to do with people not buying voluntary carbon credits. There is a massive over-supply of EUAs (EU emission allowances) and no demand from industry because of the economic slowdown, which means less industrial activity and therefore lower emissions.

    I’m not going to get into a debate about whether or not climate change is happening, but here’s where you’re wrong:

    “it is becoming disputed” – 97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming.

    “CO2 is absorbed into the oceans” – Yes and this is a serious problem.

    “The Sun is getting more powerful” – In the last 35 years of global warming, sun and climate have been going in opposite directions.

    “water vapour which no one says a word about, is the most potent contributing 95% of the total GHG effect” – scientists do talk about water vapour, and increased CO2 makes more water vapour which amplifies warming.

    “CO2 reductions are irrelevant” – nope, CO2 is the main driver of climate change.

    “any increase in temp occurring now is due to CO2 levels about millennia ago” – Between 65% and 80% of CO2 released into the air dissolves into the ocean over a period of 20–200 years. But see also this explanation of the importance of CO2 in the atmosphere over long periods.

  14. Chris,

    You are creating a generic price by staying credits are worth 50p.

  15. Gents,

    The voluntary carbon market was set up to try incentivise companies and nations to become more sustainable. We live in capitalise culture and unless sustainability is commericialise nations and companies will not do it.

    For example, currently in Africa there is not the funding to initiate many sustainability projects such as renewables and infrastructure projects. Carbon finance helps get these projects off the ground and carbon credits help create revenue streams after completion.

    They more buy in the voluntary market gets from the corporate world, the more projects can be financed and increased sustainable development.

  16. @George Sampson (#14) – Please read the whole question. The type of voluntary carbon credits that are worth 50 pence a ton are from large hydropower projects. And it wasn’t me that said that this type of voluntary carbon credits were only worth 50 pence a ton, its was the ex-head of carbon and emissions at Bache Commodities. This is important, because many of the voluntary carbon credits that boiler room carbon credit companies have been selling as investments are unfortunately precisely this type of near worthless carbon credit.

  17. Chris,

    This is precisely my point, a lack of knowledge in the market causes confusion.

    You correctly state above that:

    1. There is no single price for a voluntary carbon credit.
    2. Different vintages of the same project have different prices.

    Prices vary from project to project, that includes from hydro to hydro. Different projects have different social and economic benefits, have different appeals and demands.

    The problem is generated from quotes being taken out of context and then misinterpreted.

  18. This is a typical Recovery Boilerroom. Typically your are told that there are interested buyers but they require larger volume, hey presto you are conned in to buying more worthless VERs. Fact: there is no fundamental demand for these VERs. Fact: There is ample supply of these cheap VERS to meet current and predicted future demand. Fact: BP has its own trading team for primary VERs and CERs, they have no need to deal with private individuals and would not do so. BP volunteered to off-set the Olympics after a previous plan to buy off-sets was cancelled as deemed too expensive. Most of the large investment banks and trading houses have access to VERs and CERs. If a company wanted to buy something that is vastly over supplied yet a specialist area who do you think they will contact first? John Smith who has been flogged VERs from low value projects at more than ten times their true market price or will the contact JP Morgan, BP, BarCap et al?
    If you want to off-set your carbon foot print (circa 9 tonnes per person in UK) then do so. If you want to buy something that has no secondary market, at a hyper-inflated price, that is grossly over supplied and think you will make a profit, you are in part correct. You will making a whacking profit for the company you buy from who will vanish in 18 months with all your cash. You have been warned.

  19. In agreement with G Emery if there’s anyone who can sell SPOT VCR VER credits held. My broker has disappeared and I have spoken to CNI several times who are the holding company. They did take the time to go through everything and said if I can find a broker to do a deal to sell them then it’s fine. However they did say that since it is such a new market that 3-5 years was the span of time to look to make anything decent so exiting now would be difficult. Mine was only supposed to be a 12 month investment.

  20. @George Samson (#17) – It’s not me that’s taking quotations out of context. I posted Edward Hanrahan’s response in full:

    How much does a carbon credit cost? “There is no such thing as a generic price,” says ClimateCare’s Edward Hanrahan

    And transcribed the part of Andrew Ager’s presentation about voluntary carbon credits (and linked to the whole presentation so that you can listen to that too):

    Why you should not buy voluntary carbon credits as an investment: A carbon trader explains

    But regardless of the price of voluntary carbon credits, there is practically no secondary market. It is extremely difficult to sell voluntary carbon credits.

    Thanks, Derek (#18) for spelling out the problem so clearly.

  21. @Rachel (#19) I am sorry to say that the likely hood of you finding anyone who will buy your VCS VERs (I am assuming VCR was a typo in your original post) for any monetary worth is zero. There is an oversupply of VERs relative to demand and particularly with the relative low grade VERs these boiler rooms sell people. I am guessing you have probably been sold VERs related to a Large Hydro Project in China or Wind farm?

    Take a look at the March report from ICE (The Intercontinental Exchange) which carries the contracts for off-sets that can be used in the regulated market called CERs. Pay particular attention to page 6 where you can see the price action for CER futures, yes they are close to worthless, currently trading around €0.10 per tonne, thats 7.5 pence a tonne. CERs come from many different types of project however a significant number come from China and from wind and hydrological projects. If someone wanted to off-set their carbon foot print and were not bothered about the project type etc they could do so today for under 10 pence per tonne by buying CERs which are part of the regulated market.

    https://www.theice.com/publicdocs/futures/ICE_Monthly_Utility_Report.pdf

    There is no secondary market for VERs and I am sorry to say that holding them for 3-5 years is not an option, VERs from high volume low value projects such as wind farms and hydro projects actually depreciate over time as new, better quality VERs become available.

    I suggest you contact the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau with all the documentation you have as soon as you can.

  22. Chris,
    There is only one way to find out if Paul Mark Green is authentic and that is to sell some carbon credits through him. I would be willing to act as a guinea pig, but would first like to discuss in depth with you how best to approach this.

  23. Hi Chris,

    This is in no way a criticism so please do not take it as such,

    I note that much of your debate is centralised around credits that are worth 50 pence per tonne are being sold on at much higher prices. I presume a man of your calibre has crossed referenced your sources. I have recognised one source in which this is supported. Do you have any other sources that support this?

    Also can you personally confirm that there is never any profit to be made from these VER purchases?

    I am not looking for a debate just very black and white answers will suffice,

    Thank you

  24. Please read carefully the section below from the article and pay notice to the fees charged to get a warm lead. Then please read the structure and operation of a recovery boiler room from the NFIB website. Spot any similarities? This upfront fee is nothing but a sham to draw more cash from victims. Those who ‘invested’ thousands will see the relatively small sum as reasonable to recover something from the VERs they have bought. Do the math there are thousands of people who have been effected by boiler rooms.

    Warm leads, registry fees etc etc all a complete and utter scam to get people to hand over more money in the hope they will sell their worthless VERs. Go back to my original article, if any company were considering to off-set their emissions would they deal with:

    A: A reputable, recognised market participant like ClimateCare, South Pole Carbon, JPM – Ecosecurities or BP who can provide years and years of experience an strong track record and the guarantees, assurances and compliance structure covering The UK Bribery Act, The US Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act

    B: A company set up only a few months ago in Eastleigh and is run by a guy whose only experience is less than a year working for Enviro Associates who were exposed in a BBC documentary as a boiler room.

    Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange offers to sell these carbon credits to companies looking to offset their emissions – for a price. The company charges a minimum “admin fee” of £450 to people wanting to sell carbon credits, and a 6% “handling fee” to the companies buying the carbon credits.

    Regarding the £450 and upwards fees that are quoted on our website this fee is solely used to buy data on our clients behalf and also used for the charges issued by the registries to change the ownership of credits with them ( nearer completion a form authorised by the registry is forwarded to the client ). Every client that we bring on we will buy a data file of companies or clients that have already been contacted by a call centre and filtered through to those that are only interested in becoming carbon neutral as this will make less man hours in quoting. The data we purchase costs a minimum of £800 for 180 warm leads already looking into carbon neutrality which is far more than the lower fees, the more credits someone wishes to sell the more data we will need to purchase.

    http://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/CityPolice/Departments/ECD/Fraud/boilerroom.htm#recoveryroom

    Recovery Room

    A number of “recovery rooms” are now offering to assist those defrauded by boiler rooms. They will approach a victim of boiler room fraud and, for an upfront fee, promise to review their case and obtain reimbursement from a European Court fund or other legal avenue. Fees are often taken over the telephone by credit card payment or through PayPal, and it is thought that the recovery rooms purchase names of victims from the boiler rooms themselves.

    Recently, recovery rooms have stated that they are working either on behalf of, or in conjunction with, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), the UK Financial Services Authority or the US Securities & Exchange Commission, in an attempt to give validity to their scam. It has also been suggested that the ‘fund’ the recovery room seeks reimbursement from are monies that the Police have restrained and failed to return to the original investors.

    the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) does not work in conjunction with, or endorse, any financial companies, legal firms or other organisations to return recovered funds or represent investors, with the exception of the Financial Services Authority. Any funds that are recovered during an investigation are repatriated to investors under the Proceeds of Crime Act and every attempt is made to identify investors to benefit from such funds.

    http://www.fsa.gov.uk/consumerinformation/scamsandswindles/investment_scams/carbon_credit/trading-schemes

    http://www.fsa.gov.uk/consumerinformation/scamsandswindles/investment_scams/carbon_credit

    http://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/CityPolice/Departments/ECD/NFIB/NFIBNews/190413-carboncreditfraud.htm

  25. @Nigel Loli (#21) – The only advice I can give to people who think that they are victims of fraud is to contact Action Fraud, either via their website or by ringing them up on 0300 123 2040.

    See also Derek’s comment (#24) above.

  26. @Chris Low (#23) – Thanks for this. You ask two questions, answered in turn below:

    1. Do you have other sources that support the statement that voluntary carbon credits are worth 50 pence?

    The figure of 50 pence per tonne that you refer to comes from Andrew Ager, ex-head of Carbon and Emissions at Bache Commodities. He’s referring to carbon credits from large hydropower projects:

    “It’s been reported that individuals have paid £5 to £15 for voluntary credits in some cases from large hydrological projects, which in reality if any one of you here decided that they wanted to offset their household emissions, you could legitimately buy for less than 50 pence.”

    When the BBC exposed Enviro Associates making misleading claims about the price of voluntary carbon offsets, the BBC reported Edward Hanrahan of ClimateCare, as saying that, “the credits should be sold at less than £1 per tonne”. Hanrahan explains more about the prices of voluntary carbon credits in response to REDD-Monitor’s questions, here.

    In March 2013, three companies were ordered into liquidation by the High Court in the UK. In its press release about the case, the Insolvency Service described the carbon credits that the companies (including World Future Ltd.) were selling to the public as investments as:

    “wholly unsuitable for investment by the public”,

    “not a suitable investment at all as they were a wasting asset unlikely ever to be profitable”, and

    “near worthless”.

    And please read Derek’s comments above: (#18); (#21); and (#24).

    In particular, please look at the March 2013 report from the Intercontinental Exchange – in particular the graph on page 6 (below). The blue line shows the price for compliance offsets (CERs – certified emissions reductions) which currently stands at €0.10 per tonne. These are not quite the same as VERs (there is no single price for VERs – see the discussion with George Sampson, above). However, if I wanted to offset my emissions, I’d buy CERs for less than 10 pence per tonne, not VERs costing £7.50 a tonne. Wouldn’t you?

    2. Can you personally confirm that there is never any profit to be made from these VER purchases?

    No I cannot confirm this. If you bought voluntary carbon credits from a hydropower project in China for, say, £5, when the real price should have been, say, £1 or less, you may be able to sell them at a profit by convincing someone that they are actually worth more than £5. Of course, this would involve making misleading claims about how much the credits are worth.

    There’s another problem. Voluntary carbon credits from projects like hydropower dams or wind farms actually decrease in value over time – that’s what the Insolvency Service meant when it described them as a “wasting asset”.

    To make matters worse, there is no secondary market from VERs.

  27. I’m not sure we are any closer to lifting the fog. Back to basics. A company buys (and retires) VERs for PR purposes. Its a form of advertising – it believes by demonstrating ‘green credentials’ coupled with ‘social awareness’ it will generate more business from consumers or even governments.

    A large multi-national is likely to chose the projects it buys credits from carefully. It will want to be associated with projects and locations that are in its growth areas and also demonstrably have local social-economic benefits. More recent projects may have more appeal. But having chosen those projects will it care about the vintage of the credits? Whether they were issued in 2007 or 2012? I doubt it – no one is going to look that deeply.

    SMEs are probably less likely to be so concerned about the precise project or vintage. But they still would like to be associated with ‘green’ and ‘social good’.

    Back to the big boys. Vodafone McClaren have used CNI to source their credits. Tesco, BP, Virgin etc will have used corporates and haven’t considered buying from Joe Public.

    But imagine this. Get enough media attention, enough people write to (say) Richard Branson to say ‘Do you realise you are buying credits from people who have been part of a chain that have scammed people out of their life savings’? Make it public. It wouldn’t take long before he’d come out and say Virgin would be buying its credits from those that have been mis-sold. Don’t forget its all PR.

    MH Carbon has 600 clients. Say 6% of the market. That’s 10,000 of us who have been scammed. We all have family and friends who know how badly this has affected us. Say 5 each. That’s 50,000. Enough surely to create a hell of a stink.

    If we act and act in an organised manner. The first steps are the most difficult. Once momentum builds it gets easier.

  28. Derek, I agree with you as I have been in touch with a couple of companies who say that they only buy in mass quantities. 50,000 tons and up ??

    Having spoken to Action Fraud, and the FSA/FCA it seems that this whole thing is a scam. Carbon credits are not a profitable investment. They are bought to off-set, not make a profit. The premise of this as an investment with returns has been entirely mis-sold. Though CNI were (they’ve changed their name to Opus as of a couple of days ago – shifty??) FSA approved, Carbon credits are not. If it seems that CNI are involved and aware of this, which it looks like they are, then they can be investigated. If you are a victim or have your holdings with them then you need to report this and it will increase chances of more being done.

    G Emery, please don’t pay anyone to help you sell. I spoke to my bank about this whole thing and they said there are recovery room scams where people will claim to be able to sell your credits for a fee. Apparently they will play on desperation and take more money from you.

    I’m writing here only what I am finding out at each stage. I’m sorry for anyone else in this predicament however I’ve been told that that money is entirely gone.

    I do think the Branson idea is a good one!!!

  29. @Mike (#27) @Rachel (#28)

    I agree with many of your points @Mike although I fear the scale of the problem is far greater than many people would imagine. Ecosystems Market place in association with Bloomberg New Energy Finance produce an annual report, “The State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets”. This publication is deemed to be the most accurate assessment of the Voluntary Market available. Their report for 2010 noted there had been a rise in the number of companies selling VERs as investments which was the subject of much controversy and legal action.

    One key point for me is the size of the Voluntary Market taken by the number of participants, which up until 2010 remained circa 300 recognised and reputable companies. As of today the FSA are investigating nearly 300 companies which has set up since then selling voluntary credits as ‘investments’ and the total number taken from other sources could put this close to 500. The typical modus operandi is for a company to set-up and offer a fantastic guaranteed return in 18-24 months. This gives that company up to two years to reap in as much cash as it can before it vanishes as of course, there is no fantastic return.

    Victims who suddenly find their company has vanished are often contacted by recovery boiler rooms who buy the list of clients from the company that has vanished. Suddenly there is light at the end of the tunnel, the victim maybe able to sell their credits at last but an up front fee is required. On top of this victims are often told that a larger holding of VERs would be more attractive to their (non-existent) clients and the victim maybe convinced to pass over more money in a vain attempt to sell their credits.

    Boiler rooms have existed for decades and started in the USA where they initially operated from the basements of buildings or as the American’s call them ‘Boiler Rooms’, hence the name of the fraud. While in the early days it was unlisted worthless stocks that were sold as great investments, these frauds have looked for new markets which sit outside any regulation to make their money. These have included land banking, Bamboo or Teak plantations, fine wine, coloured diamonds, rare earth metals and cargo freight.

    Anyone who has invested in VERs will be on a ‘mug list’ so please be wary that your name and details will sold on and on to other boiler rooms and you can fully expect to be contacted by other companies offering you great opportunities perhaps in those products listed above.

    As far as I am aware all the large corporations have engaged established and professional companies to manage any off-set requirements they may have, whether that be off-setting their company emission or that of their customers. When it comes to off-setting customer travel etc say for an airline, all of this is handled by someone else. The airline has nothing to do with the purchase, a client who decides to off-set their travel will normally be dealing directly (although doing this through the companies website) with the company managing the off-sets.

    I once had an individual contact me who was told by his boiler room that BA were one of their customers and using them to off-set customer flights but they needed a lot of VERs. Sadly when you look closer at the facts, BA does indeed have the highest engagement of any airline when it comes to their customers off-setting emissions from their flights, this is circa 2% of all passengers per annum. If my memory serves me that was about 136k passengers per annum requiring (wait for it) a total of 36,000 to 40,000 tonnes of off-sets per year. In many cases BA’s total requirement is smaller than some individuals holdings of VERs!! And now for the kicker, as far as I am aware BA use JPM to off-set these emissions and back in 2009 chose to use CERs and not VERs.

    It would indeed be beneficial to get large corporations to state they would not buy VERs from private individuals and gain broader media coverage, however this typically comes at the peak of boiler rooms scams.

    At this stage the VER boiler rooms have hit a critical mass hence the emergence of recovery scams, it wont be long before these guys move on to the next scam ie fine wine or rare earth metals.

    The simple fact to communicate to friends and family is don’t buy anything from anyone that cold calls you.

  30. Another possibility – tax write off.

    I wonder if we can offset tax with the loss? This could be past and future income or capital gains, one or the other. Is it a loss or not as they have not actually sold for less than the purchase price? We still have them. If we can then do we have to sell them to someone? If we ‘retire’ them then is that the same as selling them at £0?

    Another thing is to check regularly on internet for the names of the people you have dealt with. At some point they may post somewhere to get more sales in whatever new position they take. Firms may change names but people rarely do. It may take years to track them down though.

  31. @lu (#30)

    I am not a tax advisor, however this does seem like a good route to explore. For those that still hold out hope they will sell their worthless VERs for some monetary consideration please see comments from HMRC relating to the scope of VAT and VERs (they currently do not fall under VAT scope)

    Further, and in marked contrast to the situation with compliance market credits, we have seen no evidence of the existence of a genuine secondary trading market in VERs.

    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/briefs/vat/brief2810.htm

  32. Derek

    A question for government and regulators – If Carbon Credits are wholly unsuitable for investment why are they SIPP approved??
    I think many of us are now all too aware of the boiler room and recovery room techniques used.
    With regards to the large corporations only using ‘established and professional companies to manage their offset requirements’ – this is my point. Set up a ‘pot’ of VERs owned by individuals that have been scammed and offer them to the corporations, either direct or through their chosen third party if that is the way they do it.
    Remember they are doing it ONLY for PR purposes and if we can show it will generate significant positive publicity they will do it. An old lady scammed out of her life savings helped by BA buying her credits rather than from some investment bank.

  33. @Mike (#32)

    The SIPP point again is an unintended consequence of the failed regulator The FSA and Gordon Brown’s light touch regulation. The aim of SIPPs was to allow experienced investors to be able to choose from a wider range of products in which they could invest their pensions and claim the tax benefits. You and I for example could if we wish set up a company to invest in property, it would need to meet certain criteria to be SIPP approved, typically one of these is that their is a secondary market for that which we invest in ie property.
    Boiler rooms have caught on to this flaw and by creating a false secondary market, where one does not exist, ie saying you can sell them, they seem to meet the criteria of a SIPP.

    There are regulated SIPPs provided by regulated companies where you can choose from a greater range of products and there are unregulated SIPPs which of course come with caveat emptor. Our genuine property investment would be unregulated, none the less we could legitimately say it met the criteria for a SIPP.

    To my knowledge thousands of people have cashed in their SIPPS and invested in VERs with the hope of making a wonderful return, again this is just another tool used by boiler rooms to extract as much cash as they can. If you take part in a regulated SIPP you are offered some degree of protection. If people invested in our unregulated property SIPP they may well make a return but have no regulatory protection.

    You idea has merit however I fear that the volume of VERs sold by boiler rooms is so significant that it would vastly outstrip any genuine organic demand. Take my example of BA, even if they did decided to use the ‘pot’ option they would only require up to 50k VERs per annum which would hardly put a dent in the those sold by boiler rooms. On top of this some airlines are already included in the regulated EU ETS, which causes a double accounting problem. The other problem potentially is that these companies would be rewarding criminal activity a job that greatly needs to be addressed by regulators and is already being addressed by law enforcement.

    There have been several media reports relating to ‘robust’ trade in the voluntary market despite the global economic decline and collapse of the regulated EU ETS. I fear that in time this ‘robust’ trade will turn out to be all but solely attributable to criminal activity.

    It’s a good idea but unworkable IMO. What we need is tougher regulation, prevention is better than cure.

  34. Derek

    According to the VCS site about 122million VCUs have been issued and 34.5million retired. A break down by year would be useful, to ascertain whether issue is still outstripping retirement. I reckon maybe 25million have been sold to private investors (bag of a fag packet estimate).
    What do you think?

  35. @mike (#34)

    Very difficult as you say to put a figure on it, the figures I have worked with is circa 70 million tonnes per annum of off-sets sold prior to boiler room activity although this figure includes many different standards, VCS is by the far the greater portion of those issued/sold. There have been a few large outlying deals where for example a large hotel chain in the US has struck a deal to pay the running costs for a large forestry project. I have heard estimates for last year that VER sales will be 100 million tonnes plus perhaps as high as 170 million.

    Interestingly if you compare this with the regulated EU ETS off-sets, CERs, they totalled nearly two billion tonnes last year.

    Your fag pack estimate sits well with me as the potential number sold to private individuals, I do fear the number could be significantly higher though. We should shortly get the Ecosystems Market Place report which may shed some more light on matters. The bigger problem or spanner in the works is that the collapse of the CDM market ie CERs, mean there is a flood of cheap off-sets that could flow in to the voluntary market. At current market rates it costs more to get a CER issued through the CDM than their market value. It is possible that carbon asset managers may decided to issue as VERs instead of CERs…. That could kill the voluntary market which is already oversupplied relative to any demand.

    It really is anybodies guess at this stage as their is no regulatory demand and the market is fragmented it is difficult to get an accurate picture.

    Some simple math and guesstimation. The FSA are investigating nearly 300 companies, if we use what I feel is a conservative figure of 100 clients per boiler room that gives you 30,000 victims. According the NFIB the average loss through a boiler room is 20k thats would represent £600 million from these boiler rooms. Voluntary Credits have been sold for £5-£12. If we take a below average of £7.50 that would give a figure of 80 million tonnes!!

    Again these are still bag of fag pack numbers, however given the numbers I have heard banging around supporting ‘robust’ demand in the voluntary market it is possibility.

    Given many victims never come forward it will probably be impossible to get anything but an educated guess.

  36. Derek

    I can’t disagree with your estimates, though they are slightly higher than mine, they are in the same ballpark.
    We have been thoroughly let down by governments and regulators. A plan that was supposed to encourage efforts to help the environment has been totally hijacked by criminals and the authorities are painfully slow to react.

  37. Mike et al,

    Hold you breath and get ready, the link below will take you to a list of unauthorised companies doing business in the UK there is also a second list for unauthorised foreign companies doing business in the UK. The vast majority of these are spurious companies (you wont be surprised to see carbon or CO2 related names) ripping cash from private individuals in all manner of scams, boiler rooms, ponzi schemes et al. I am mystified as to why given all the fines taken by the FSA that a targeted media campaign to raise awareness of this problem has not been undertaken. The FSA’s response is simply to post a PDF saying you are not covered by any compensations scheme on a website page that most people don’t know exists. If that is consumer protection at its best then I am a monkey’s Uncle.

    Read and weep

    http://www.fsa.gov.uk/doing/regulated/law/alerts/unauthorised-firms

  38. @Derek (#37) – I’ve looked through this FSA (now FCA) list at least half-a-dozen times – there are about 25 companies with the words carbon, CO2 or climate in their names.

    I agree with you that the FCA is not providing consumer protection – the problem is that the FCA does not regulate trade in voluntary carbon credits. So even if a company is registered by the FCA (and Carbon Neutral Investments is), consumers of carbon credits are not covered by compensation schemes. Here’s what FCA says about Carbon Neutral Investments:

    Many of the firms involved in promoting and selling carbon credits are not authorised by us. If you buy an investment product from an unauthorised firm – even if an authorised firm like CNI (FRN 403428) handles the money in the investment – you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if things go wrong.

  39. Has anyone dealt with jameseden.co.uk? They have a page about exits. I found their website today and am suspicious as they claim that “the marketplace is now rushing to buy voluntary credits”. This is not true.

  40. if anyone who has been touched by the carbon credits “business” is interested in filing a class action law suit, contact me,,, personally
    as I live in France , this would best be conducted from a location in GB
    I will be available , however , for planning , the logistics of such an action,,,,,

  41. Definitely interested in the idea of filing a class action law suit…. Anyone else?

  42. Hi Rachel,,, ok , we will need to be a few more persons on this one, and
    a lawyer versed in common wealth law, welcome to the “club” , more to come
    thanks for the response, Steve

  43. I have researched and used a solicitor to understand the legal case for a claim. The problem with a class action is who to sue (you can’t sue multiple companies in one action) – and then getting enough people prepared to pay up-front legal costs to get it to court

  44. Roger that ,,, we need an approach , at once hyper “legal” but new paradigm as well ,, in this case the class action is the “us ” against the “them “,,, “them” being which ever company has sold the credits , that’s where the problem begins , but if we unite and have the patience we can hit one after the other, using the same protocal

  45. Steve, I have done a lot of work on this and have a group who have largely (but not solely) have contracts with Carbon-ex. (See other REDD blogs on this). I am looking to pursue a test case against them. The difficulty is commitment to costs but I am determined to press ahead even if I do this alone. Feel free to contact me directly

  46. hello Mike , good to hear !, if I can do anything to help in the immediate let me know,, I also have been in contact with a group , that is trying to
    collect about 20,000 units to make a block sale , many of us might be able to at least cut loses,and there is no , “fee” or further purchase, interesting perhaps ?the details are a bit complex as one might expect
    more to come , Steve

  47. @steve @mike

    I appreciate your optimism I strongly doubt you will be able to sell your VERs even as a block and if you have been contacted by someone who is looking to help aggregate VERs for a ‘particular client’ it is either a recovery boiler room or they intend to further sell them on as part of another boiler room. Please please please make sure you do not hand over further funds to facilitate a sale or as you state, get talked in to buying more credits to make the sale.

  48. I would love to sell on my carbon credits but think Andrew is right. Unless a compay wanted to buy them to write off carbon I think I wold be in danger of taking part in the same sort of scam where I was told that these credits were an investment.

  49. Hi Andrew , the company , in question is Tolland and Boch!, the company interviewed, I believe? ,,,, the idea , of 500 quid , up front , is financially ok , for 8 to 11£ per unit , all in writing etc ,,,, have you checked them out ? , have pretty much the same story with another company , but no £s up front,,,,, what a circus,,,,,I got into this with Joseph Welsh&
    Andrew Wilson , of Green Capital,, by the way,,, over , Steve

  50. To G . Emery, perhaps that’s what we should all consider? form an LTd or some such entity and find clients , once sold we take enough profit to liquidate and cover expenses, and return the balance to the “victims”
    your thoughts ? ,,, over , Steve

  51. have checked on Citadeltrustees, ecosynergies, they seem to have vanished
    here would be a case for legal action, ( assuming we can track them ? ,,,
    Steve

  52. I estimate that the carbon credits that I have bought will cover all my family’s carbon footprint for all their lfetimes. When I bought the first thousand I thought that the case for selling on was weak and thought I might write off my own carbon footprint if I failed to exit. Unfortunately I was then duped into buying more by being told that I could exit if I had a larger amount. Now I’m just taking it as a hard earnt lesson in cold call scams.

    My name has obviously got onto a trading list and I receive sometimes 2 calls a day about investments. Some may be genuine but in future I’m not investing with anyone who calls me.

    As for my carbon credits how do I go about retiring them – anyone know? Or do they automatically retire at a cetain date?

  53. @#58 If there was one good thing to come out of this, you might think that you have at least done something to reduce your carbon footprint. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the case. Credits have been sold at msasively overblown prices and the difference has gone straight into the pockets of the scammers, who have likely spent their ill gotten gains on fast cars, expensive houses, holidays etc. The best we can hope for is they are caught and, in addition to receiving unwelcome attention in prison shower rooms, are made to graft until they do repay their carbon debt. I’m not holding my breath.

  54. Steve You mentioned bulking credits together to secure an exit. I would be interested in discussing that idea further. Can you contact me at : ardblair@aol.com

  55. have done a deal with james eden and they seem to have gone off radar cannot get any answer from phone, they were supposed to sell ver,s but alas I am not so sure

  56. Norman, I hope you didn’t pay any money upfront.

  57. I too fell foul of a brokerage selling VERs in 2012. the company was New frontier Advisory who have now sunk/disappeared. VCS registered VERs were purchased through (if that is the correct term) Eco Synergies. Since about Marc of this year I have been contacted by 3 companies ( hennesey associates, IFXBG and South-west Utilities) all offering me exit strategies at prices of £5.20 £8.50 and £8.50 per crit respectively. All wanted some level of up front payment varying between £970 and c. £2200. In the case of the latter this was supposedly a ‘surety bond) most of which would be repayable on completion. with the actual cost to myself being something like £50.00. This ‘offer from IFXBG seemed to good to be true.. and guess what thats’ exactly what it was… on not receiving a promised email, I emailed IFXBG giving the names of those i had spoken to and recieved a reply stating that this was a fraud. IFXBG have now posted a warning on their website. as for henessey associates they still contact me, and South-west utilities have sent me contract details – should i wish to proceed. the ‘Only’ cost to myself being a legal ‘arbtitrage fee’ to cover legal and admin costs of the sale ( @£8.50 per unit).. has anyone else had anay dealings with anay of these companies? As an aside the antivirus/security software on my work lap top flags the southwest-uilities.com site as

    URL: http://southwest-utilities.com/

    Risk Level: Dangerous Highly suspicious Suspicious Untested

    Details: Verified fraud page or threat source Suspected fraud page or threat source Associated with spam or possibly compromised Rating in progress.

    apologies for such a long entry..

  58. TWIMC,,,,money up front is generally a scam, offer a percentage contract ,
    real business can ALWAYS , fit into a contractual agreement , when no ?? beware!!,

  59. Has anyone had any success with selling their Carbon Crefits with this company?

    George

  60. I have read through the sorry stories in redd-monitor. Unfortunately I have been caught in the same way – both buying VER’s and then paying another company to try to sell them. Virtually all these companies have now disappeared!
    I am therefore interested in any scheme which seeks to pool and then sell credits, even at a much lower price. I might also be interested in a joint legal action – although in this case I think it will be almost impossible to catch up with the scammers behind the companies which have now been wound up.
    Please keep me posted – Harry

  61. I have been ‘conned’ into buying carbon units !

  62. I have sold about 3000 credits about 5 months ago but still have a remaining block left to exit, it certainly is hard to establish a decent company but found one that was part of a government green deal and was through a seminar held by the company.

  63. @alfonzo delroy – Thanks for this comment. Could you please provide a few more details. Which “government green deal”? Which company? Where was the seminar? How did you hear about the seminar? How much did you buy your credits for and how much did you manage to sell them for? From which project, in which country, were the credits generated? What was the vintage of the credits? Thanks.

  64. I purchased 1000 at £11.00 and sold at £9.50 and purchased 2000 at £5.60 and sold at £9.50, I still have a large amount to sell and have waited almost 6 months in total just to sell the 3000. The seminar was actually via my work regarding a Low Carbon Economy, your standard seminar advising businesses of sustainable products and up and coming legislation’s about reporting of emissions. My credits are in varies projects but the batches sold was ID 92, I do not know much more than that. I can in box you rather than disclose info on here as I am sure every one does not want to see our conversation

  65. @alfonzo delroy (#71) – Thanks for this. ID 92 is a 300 MW hydropower dam in India. Actually, I’m sure lots of people would be very interested in hearing how you managed to sell carbon credits from this project for £9.50, but if you want to send me more details by email, my address is reddmonitor@gmail.com.

  66. Good , would like to hear more , need to sell about 6000 of them ,Steve

  67. @steve comer (#73) – I’d also like to hear more. This is what we know so far: “alfonzo delroy” is some bloke on the internet who claims to have sold some carbon credits for £9.50 from a large-scale hydropower dam in India under a “government green deal”. We don’t know who bought his carbon credits or which government was running the “green deal”.

  68. perhaps we can pool all our credits and offer a more interesting bundle ? ,,, what is needed now is some Government compliance, that which was promised , and started the ball rolling , and is now reneged upon !,

  69. that sounds like it might have merit…..I have several thousand credits that I would be only tooo glad to sell.

  70. continuing ,,,, it might be worth checking on these “holding companies” and the laws that regulate them , we may have grounds for a CAS, based on non performance , and gross miss-representation, seeking 1) a refund 2) a lawsuit , seeking “repairs and damages”,,,,,, ?

  71. From looking at the comments I though I would research more, and the company I used is Green Deal Accredited but this only means they aid with sustainable products and does not me the offsets are accredited as apparently there is still no regulation in place regarding the processes of offsetting. I did have to pay a up front fee however and from viewing messages this is deemed as a no go? I did have a refund policy that backed the payment I made but as I have seen some returns I can say it has been successful even if it seems a slow process to see them being sold. As mentioned I have not sold all of them yet and will update once they have all been sold in case this was just a one of for the current 2 batches already sold. Either way I have made more than my fee back but will update again if they can actually sell my remaining credits.

  72. Do you see much likelihood of being able to repeat this type of transaction ? slow is better than no,,
    the main problem is the differential between , what most of us paid , and the actual worth at the time of purchase!,, I’d guess something around 10$ a credit , would bail most of us ? ( feedback welcomed here!),,, and has (anyone) tried going against their holding companies yet? ( like Citadel Trustees)since their has been no action , ie non- performance,, there may be an avenue there, in fact the monies should be in the hands of these companies,,,

  73. Welcome to email me steve and I can show the legal documents that were involved with my sale as I do not want to upload data to this site in case I come across as promoting a company that I do not know the ins and outs of myself apart from they sold my holdings. alfonso.delroy@yahoo.co.uk

  74. roger will do , tied up right now , but I’ll get to it ,,,thanks a lot , SDC

  75. Do any of the guys posting on this site know if Carbon Neutral Exchange is still in operation? I paid an upfront fee for them to sell credits and Paul Green plus others kept in touch up to April 2014. Apparently they had moved office and business was back to normal. But since then the web-site has closed and all emails to Paul and others are returned as non-deliverable!!! The phone provides a standard message which is not responded to.

  76. Ian (#85) Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange Limited changed its name to Carbon Neutral Offsets Limited on 18th September 2013. It has no web site under its new name, and no web site under its old name.

    You should contact Action Fraud: the most obvious possible explanation for the firm’s disappearance from the Web and failure to contact you is that they have taken your money (and the money of other people like you) and done a bunk.

  77. I am having difficulty in contacting Paul Green No response from their new Officer and e mail address
    I am surprised as I always felt that Paulwas genuine and could be trusted How wrong can u be
    Any ino would be appreciated

  78. Hi all,

    I have been reading the comments after trying to contact Carbon Neutral Trading today looks like I had a lucky escape as I had not progressed my sale through them. I noticed some one mentioned Carbon Ex where I bought mine. Is there any interest in pursuing this company for miss selling similarly mine where bought through a SIPP. I have other issues with other investments through a SIPP another story.

    Look forward to some feedback and thoughts.

    Regards
    Rob Smith

  79. Hi , not sure if this is of any use at this point , but , after surfing all the BS on Eco-Synergies recently , I contacted my original seller, green Cap,
    Andrew Wilson,, , he <was amazingly still there ( in China!) trying to put together a deal ,,, true enough , he stands to make a bundle if he can pull it off , anyway !!, I have written the whole thing off , so if it comes thru , all the better!, and I will post an announcement here, inviting the rest of us to celebrate , and perhaps liquidate ,

  80. I have been trying to contact Paul Green by email and telephone this week.
    My email to pmg@carefortheenvironment.com has been returned undelivered. I also tried adding a / at the end of the address but this also failed.
    I understand that the company address changed from Wessex House,Upper Market Street, Eastleigh, SO50 9ED to 16, Station Hill, Eastleigh, SO50 9FJ.
    I had two telephone numbers: 02380 988927 and a later 02381 157134. Talk of a freephone number when changing premises has not apparently happened.

    Has anyone else had difficulty making contact? Maybe I have incorrect details.

    MF
    14 October 2014

  81. Thanks for your comment. I too have also been unable to make contact with him. The details you have are correct. I was over with him about 2 months ago. As I am not based in the UK could someone check this out locally? I was going to write to him