How valid are third-party validators?

Frankly, I’m glad someone who isn’t an “expert” in carbon trading schemes is examining this highly controversial activity.

The vested interests attacking the Auditor General’s report on the BC Liberals’ “carbon neutral government” claim and the activities of the Pacific Carbon Trust (PCT) argue that B.C.’s Auditor General has no “expertise” with which to judge carbon offset projects.

Frankly, I’m glad someone who isn’t an “expert” in carbon trading schemes is examining, with a skeptical eye, this highly controversial and questionable activity.

An “expert” in carbon offsets is someone who has already bought into the legitimacy of these schemes and, as such, is merely interested in whether the rules of this newest shell game are being followed. An “expert” would not ask the fundamental question that needs to be asked: are carbon offset projects a legitimate, credible way to address climate change?

The experts that are currently validating carbon offset schemes, including B.C.’s, are the same type of companies that created the savings and loan and Enron scandals. They are also the same type of companies that validated and sanctioned financial derivatives; what we now refer to as the “toxic assets” that caused the financial meltdown in 2008.

These experts also enjoy direct financial benefits from the promotion and promulgation of carbon offsets — they are an integral part of the so-called carbon offset industry. An industry that in reality involves trading carbon ownership certificates in a manner that enables private companies to obtain millions of dollars of public money that ought to have been spent in classrooms, hospitals and seniors care facilities.

The United Nations and reputable climatologists and carbon economists are also questioning the validity and efficacy of carbon offsets, and a recent study by the University of Victoria called one of the forest carbon offset projects examined by the Auditor General a “smoke and mirrors game.”

B.C.’s Auditor General is fully capable of giving us his unbiased and expert findings.

Bob Simpson is the Independent MLA for Cariboo North.

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