The Financial Times (Fiona Harvey and Chris Bryant) have just woken up to the fact thatthe Defra /EU Emissions Trading Scheme is a financial scam which Lord Patel has beendetailing for over 3 years.
Readers might wish to turn to the Proceedings of the Public Accounts Committee Wednesday 12 May 2004 when they had the opportunity to discuss the scheme with Sir Brian Bender,***Chief Secretary DEfRA(who was soon to move onto the DTI see pic ) this exchange at Q64
Q64 Mr Jenkins: May I put to you that the real priority here was to create a market and not to reduce emissions?
Sir Brian Bender: It was both but creating a market centre in the City of London was a prize. Whether it is 50/50 or 60/40 I think is impossible to answer but it was part of the prize that the City would be the place, and we would look back to the early 2000 years as a time when the decision had taken place where this new commodity trading was centred in the City of London.
Effectively, as Lord Patel has long stated that this is simply another casino and the ETS/Carbon trading is just another supply of chips for them to
How it works was displayed in stunning detail a few questions further on...(The company
in question was Ineos Fluor who had taken over part of ICI at Northwich in Cheshire)
Q66 Mr Jenkins: I will give you an example and you can tell me if I am right or wrong on this one then. A company was producing HFC-23 and had a bit of a problem and it built an incinerator. That incinerator takes out 97% of HFCs. The incinerator cost them £1.5 Mn to build but they received off of you £23 Mn plus substantial income from the sale of their surplus allowances. Was that the plan they submitted to you they were going to build an incinerator for £1.25 million thereby dramatically reducing their emissions, and then we paid them £23 million to do it. Was that a good purchase?
After a great deal of waffle from a Mr Derwent from the Ministry Mr Jenkins rather testily asked ..
Q68 Mr Jenkins: Do you not see that as an example of the taxpayer thinking that is a waste of their money?
Mr Derwent: I find it difficult to respond because it is the business of this Committee to come to that conclusion.
Later on we get another straighforward example of the scam at work ..
Q75 Mr Allan: I wanted to pick up another point which is almost the reverse of that, a
concern that the market might take off. To go back to Sir Brian's point about the relationship between this and other schemes, is it likely that we might see firms like the Corus Group or BG Group buying in cheap tonnage from the Ineos Fluors and Invista UKs to meet their Climate Change Agreements and making a profit from the taxpayer purely on paper without doing any savings at all in terms of preventing gases getting into the atmosphere. Is that an economic possibility that we should be worried about?
Mr Derwent: The answer to that is yes, and that is why we accept that the methodology we have used has led to an oversupply in the UK market.
or even more at Question 78
Q78 Mr Allan: If we look at some of the companies—Ineos Fluor £43 million, Invista UK £26.7 million, Shell UK £23.4 million (they probably need the money) BP £18.9 million — the question does remain that we have been giving large sums of public money to the biggest companies in the country which surely anyway would have done these emissions reductions anyway. These are the companies that can raise the money on the market to buy the upgraded equipment they need. You have not demonstrated at all, have you, that we are hitting the companies which we really need to be hitting, the small and medium enterprises, which are the ones who cannot afford to invest in cleaner technology?
Edward Leigh, the Conservative MP and chair of the Public Accounts Committee, finally observed that the scheme ‘seems to be paying [the four companies] £11 million for keeping emissions down to levels they had already achieved before they joined’.
Labour MP Gerry Steinberg described the scheme as a ‘mockery’ and an ‘outrageous waste of public money’.
To be fair to the FT their John Kay, a financial journalist, did say , ‘when a market is created through political action rather than emerging spontaneously from the needs of buyers and sellers, business will seek to influence market design for commercial advantage’.
In fucking spades.
***Sir Brian,is the son of a professor, is 58, married (to Penelope) with two children. He was a Grammar School lad, took a physics degree and a PhD from Imperial College, London, and in 1973 he joined the Civil Service - at the DTI.
In the Callaghan Government young Brian Bender was working closely with ministers. He did 2 years 76/77 bag carrying for the Trade Secretary, Eric Varley. It was the era when Albert Booth was Employment Secretary, Denis Healey was Chancellor of the Exchequer and the coming man of Government was a svelte, sideburned charmer called Roy Hattersley.
After his stint at the DTI in the 1970s Brian Bender was promoted to Europe, returning briefly to the DTI in 1982 to work on steel issues. Under John Major's Government and in the early years of the current Labour Government Sir Brian (as he became in 1998) was seen as a high-flyer, even as a possible future Cabinet Secretary, and received plenty of brownie points when he ran Tony Blair's "delivery" unit. Then he went to DEfRA to help Mrs Beckett continue the destruction of the UK fishing and farming industry.
Readers will probably have freshly in mind that DEfRA lost millions of taxpayers money which will come (at the insistence of Gordon Brown) from Departmental Budgets over the Farmers Single Payment scheme. ..... and who was the top man at DEfRA when the decision to adopt the failed paymwent scheme which has cost over £500Mn ...arise Sir Brian Bender.
The eternnal mystery is that this guy is still in his fucking job at the DTI ... we will watch with interest which companies seek his help on their Boards when he is finally put out to pasture.