Carbon Profits Inc. – Errr, Reuters!

Thomson Reuters Point Carbon's corporate logo.

Anyone looking at the state of carbon trading, which is collapsing, who comes away with the sense that this is just a growing pain on the way to a meaningful global system has to be suffering from a form of blindness. Consider the New York Times op-ed writers, Marton Kruppa and Andrew Allan, who do their utmost today to explain away five billion euros’ worth of fraud and other daunting problems with carbon markets. Reading their piece, one gets the sense that it’s fine, everything’s fine – better than fine!

Both Kruppa and Allan are listed as Reuters correspondents, which is technically true. What the Times could not find space to include is that they are employed by Point Carbon, a division of Reuters devoted to growing the carbon market and, once that takes place, profiting from it. That the good people at Point Carbon presume that such a profit motive is part of what’s known as “enlightened selfishness” does little to alter the simple fact that these “journalists” are employed by a company that has a vested interest in this story.

The Times presumes that including the full name Thomson Reuters Point Carbon would be a terrible waste of space. I consider it to have been a better journalistic practice than allowing PR for a green company to masquerade as anything else.

I have sent a request for comment below to both Mr. Kruppa and Mr. Allan. These were my questions:

1. Do you own stock in any company that trades in carbon?
2. Do you feel that you have a vested interest — career or financial, or both — in the trading of carbon?
3. Have you considered the effect of carbon trading on energy-poor households in the UK and elsewhere?

Mr. Allan was prompt with his replies: “NO,” “NO,” and “YES.” To the latter he added: “FOR A SUBSCRIPTION PLEASE CONTACT SALES.”


About Harold Ambler

I am a lifelong environmentalist. I started my journalism career at The New Yorker, where I worked as a copy editor. Since then, my own work has appeared in The New York Daily News, The National Review Online, The Atlantic Wire, The Huffington Post, The Berkeley Daily Planet, The Providence Journal, Brown Alumni Monthly, The Narragansett Times, Rhode Island Monthly, and Providence Business News.
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