Tata Steel made hundreds of millions of pounds selling carbon emissions permits given for free under a European Union emissions trading scheme, experts say.The allegation is controversial because critics previously blamed EU climate policies for undermining the company.

Three separate experts said Tata was allocated more carbon allowances than it really needed. Tata, which plans to sell its UK steel business, refused to comment but there is no suggestion it broke the rules. Tata was able to sell the surplus to other firms wanting permits to pollute at an estimated profit of around £700m.Another analyst, Simon Evans from Carbonbrief, believes the windfall was probably double that.

Reports say Tata profited more than any other firm in the UK from the system. Other windfalls allegedly went to Lafarge, Hanson, and Total UK. One report, by consultants CTDelft for citizens' group Carbon Market Watch, shows that the ailing steel firm made £704m from the windfall.

Overall it says industry across Europe has earned a £19bn windfall from 2008 to 2014.


Carbon credits bring Lakshmi Mittal £1bn bonanza

LAKSHMI MITTAL, Britain’s richest man, stands to benefit from a £1 billion windfall from a European scheme to curb global warming. His company ArcelorMittal, the steel business where he is chairman and chief executive, will make the gain on “carbon credits” given to it under the European emissions trading scheme (ETS).

The scheme grants companies permits to emit CO2 up to a specified “cap”. Beyond this they must buy extra permits. An investigation has revealed that ArcelorMittal has been given far more carbon permits than it needs. It has the largest allocation of any organisation in Europe


UN suspends carbon-trading auditor

THE validity of the Kyoto Protocol’s $100 billion (£67 billion) carbon-trading scheme has been called into question after the United Nations suspended the world’s largest auditor of clean-energy projects.

Norway’s DNV, which claims to have approved half of the world’s carbon-credit ventures, had its accreditation suspended last month after it was unable to prove that its agents had properly vetted projects that it then approved for the carbon-trading scheme



Industries hoarding greenhouse gas emission permits

Companies across Europe are hoarding permits to produce greenhouse gas emissions worth hundreds of millions of pounds, the Guardian can reveal.

The surplus credits have been amassed from over-allocation of permits to pollute from the European emissions trading scheme, and by buying cheap credits from carbon-cutting projects in developing countries and holding on to their more expensive official EU allowances.

The saved permits can be used to meet future targets to cut the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming and climate change without actually reducing pollution, or sold for a profit in the future.

Offices raided and 21 held as EU probe into carbon trading fraud intensifies


Denmark criticised for slow reaction after apparently being targeted in alleged 'carousel' scam

British tax authorities have arrested 21 people after raiding homes and offices across Europe as part of a crackdown on alleged carbon-trading fraud, HM Revenue & Customs confirmed today .

Some 450 staff took part in raids on Wednesday as tax authorities across the continent intensified an ongoing investigation into alleged carbon-trading fraud, which is estimated to have cost €5bn in unpaid taxes.

Deutsche Bank and energy company RWE were among 230 offices and homes raided this week by German authorities. Four arrests followed, including one in the UK under a European arrest warrant.


The integrity of the EU's emissions trading scheme could be badly undermined unless governments resist the temptation to sell on "recycled" certified emission reduction (CERs) credits that have already been surrendered by businesses.

That is the stark warning from the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), after the Hungarian government last week agreed to sell on two million "recycled" CERs to an undisclosed intermediary.


Treasury acts on carbon-credit fraud fears

Drastic action to stop a potential multi-billion-pound fraud was taken by the UK Treasury on Thursday when it imposed a zero rate of value added tax on carbon credits – the allowances issued as part of a scheme to help curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Losses to the exchequer so far are unlikely to have exceeded a few hundred millions pounds, but the Treasury said in a statement that “there now exists a substantiated and increasing risk of the UK becoming a major target for the fraudsters during the next few months”.

Carbon fraud may force longer closure of EU emissions trading


EU emissions trading scheme may remain suspended as governments struggle to beef up security

Hopes that a key tool in the fight against climate change can be brought back into full operation on Wednesday were fading as national governments struggled to beef up security after a huge carbon fraud was uncovered in Europe's pioneering emissions trading scheme (ETS).

But the British government said it was confident the UK side of the market was highly secure and there was little risk of local users being vulnerable.

The European commission stepped in to ban "spot" trading in carbon on any local exchanges last Wednesday after a £28m cyber attack on the Czech, Austrian and other national markets