Copenhagen climate summit: Carbon trading fraudsters in Europe pocket €5bn
Carbon trading fraudsters may have accounted for up to 90pc of all market activity in some European countries, with criminals pocketing an estimated €5bn (£4.5bn) mainly in Britain, France, Spain, Denmark and Holland, according to Europol, the European law enforcement agency.
The revelation caused embarrassment for European Union negotiators at the Copenhagen climate change summit yesterday, where they have been pushing for an expansion of their system across the globe to penalise heavy emitters of carbon dioxide.
Yesterday, the UK delegation released a paper calling for the “expansion of carbon markets”, in order to use the profits for a fund to help developing nations tackle climate change.
Suspicions about an unprecedented level of carbon crime over the last 18 months have led investigators to believe criminals are using “missing trader” techniques to buy up carbon credits elsewhere in Europe where there is a cheaper rate of VAT.