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Oh, what fun!

The way the system was supposed to work was simple enough: the EU would set an annual cap on its overall emissions, then issue various emitters a certain number of EU allowances (EUAs). Each EUA would entitle its holder to emit one tonne of carbon. If a company had extra EUAs at the end of the year, meaning that it hadn’t emitted all the carbon it was allowed, it could put them up for sale, and companies that had too few EUAs could buy them. Companies could also purchase carbon offsets, which basically meant investing in sustainability measures in other countries. The plan was for Europe to issue fewer EUAs year over year, so it would become progressively more expensive to emit carbon.

What made the market interesting to scammers was the potential for VAT fraud. To understand the scheme they cooked up, it’s important to know two things: because economic policies in Europe are aimed at facilitating trade across borders, VAT is waived on sales between EU member states. Also, since governments only want to tax the value added at each stage of the economic process, they credit or reimburse the buyers of certain products for the VAT paid to suppliers.

They lifted billions by running a VAT Carousel operation on carbon credits.

And yes, largely the people who had been doing mobile phones. Using much the same system. Well after everyone had grasped what was happening with hte phones too. Yet the EU still instituted the system that allowed – hell, a great gaping hole where it could be done – it to be cdone.

How’s that for people supposedly planning an entire continent to our benefit?


4 thoughts on “Oh, what fun!”

  1. When I was a city councillor a couple of decades ago (groan! I feel old!), we had a profitable business of selling carbon credits and things like landfill credits, as we never used all the ones we were allocated. We sold them to councils with more holes than they were allowed to use and more rubbish than they were allowed to dispose of.

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