SEC staff consulted green finance firm accused of selling ‘fictitious’ carbon credits

  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officials met with representatives of a Swiss climate firm currently under fire for allegedly selling ‘fictitious’ carbon credits to discuss climate regulation, according to a Daily investigation. Caller News Foundation.
  • According to a report by Dutch investigative newspaper Follow the Money, millions of dollars in carbon credits issued by Swiss company South Pole could not be reliably linked to actual greenhouse gas reductions.
  • SEC officials met with a representative of South Pole in January 2022, and the company was cited several times in the draft regulations released by the agency in March 2022, according to publicly available documents.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officials met with representatives of a Swiss climate advisory firm currently under fire for allegedly selling ‘fictitious’ carbon credits, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation .

SEC officials met with a South Pole representative in January 2022 to discuss how the SEC could estimate the costs companies would face if they were to include data about their greenhouse gas emissions in their reports. regular financial information, according to a publicly available SEC memorandum. . The company, an international powerhouse whose clients include Gucci and Volkswagen, may have sold millions of dollars worth of carbon credits on the promise of environmental protection efforts that never happened, according to a report by the Dutch investigative newspaper Follow the Money. (RELATED: Biden administration officials worked closely with climate group chaired by massive Dem donor, email broadcast)

South Pole manages the “largest portfolio of carbon projects in the world” and allows companies to offset their greenhouse gas emissions by investing in projects that reduce carbon emissions elsewhere, allowing them to meet the objectives of carbon emissions without drastically changing their business model, according to its website. However, the company appears to have sold credits based on its flagship Kariba Forest Protection Project in Zimbabwe, despite knowing that the project may have generated only a third of the gas offsets. greenhouse gases that the company has publicly claimed, Follow the Money reported.

South Pole was cited several times in a draft rule issued by the SEC in March 2022, which would require companies to report climate-related data, as a source of estimated compliance costs for companies. As recently as January 2023, South Pole published a blog post offering advice to companies on how best to understand the SEC’s proposed climate rules, noting that they were based on the group’s “well-established recommendations Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TFCD).”

A previous DCNF investigation indicated that members of the climate-related disclosures task force appeared to have close personal and business ties to members of the US Treasury Department and top Democratic donor Michael Bloomberg.

South Pole’s credits are based on an estimate of the extent of deforestation if the company took no action to protect a forest, according to FTM. However, the company discovered in June 2022 that it had overestimated the rate of deforestation, meaning it had issued credits worth 27 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions that ‘she hadn’t stopped.

Credits sold from Kariba generated 10% of the 232 million euros ($246.8 million) in revenue that South Pole reported in 2022, FTM reported.

The company argued that its project had been independently verified by climate standards company Verra, and that updates to the model it used were an integral part of Kariba’s “built-in, self-correcting mechanism” to ensure that credits issued relate to discounted carbon offsets, in a February release. Verra is facing allegations that around 90% of its rainforest offset credits have not translated into real carbon reductions, a claim it denies, following a joint investigation by the British newspaper The Guardian, German newspaper Die Zeit and non-profit investigative newspaper SourceMaterial published in January.

“While we welcome VCM’s scrutiny and take it very seriously. However, we do not accept exaggerated and misleading information,” the company said in the same press release. misleading claims regarding verified “over-emissions” of carbon credits from one of our flagship climate action projects, the Kariba REDD+ Forest Protection Project.”

Ultimately, the company suspended sales of Kariba credits in November 2022, but still made a sale of more than half a million euros to accounting firm EY in September 2022, months after the company discovered the overstatement, according to Follow the Money. In an internal meeting, co-founder Christian Dannecker was reportedly unable to give a clear answer as to whether the carbon offsets guaranteed in the company’s credits actually existed.

The SEC declined to comment for this article.

South Pole did not immediately respond to a DCNF request for comment.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent, nonpartisan newswire service, is available at no charge to any legitimate news publisher who can provide a large audience. All reposted articles must feature our logo, our reporter’s byline, and DCNF affiliation. If you have any questions regarding our guidelines or our partnership with us, please contact

Leave a Comment