Thomson Reuters Point Carbon reports that the UK government has petitioned for two London-based companies involved in selling voluntary carbon credits to be shut down on the grounds of public interest. This is good news. It follows a piece in the FT on 16th March highlighting the impotence of the FSA in the matter of boiler room operations flogging VERs to pensioners. There’s another article on it in the Money Observer.
Petitioning for winding up seems like a fantastic tool for dealing with climate change. The government could petition for a whole range of enterprises to be shut down on the grounds of public interest: power plants, cement plants, steel mills and so forth. Why use the EU ETS to do the dirty work? But that wouldn’t be fair. After all, they are just the symptoms. Let’s get to the causes: advertising companies, television broadcasters, fizzy drinks manufacturers and fast foot merchants could all be struck off.
“Lightweights,” muttered Sir Godfrey Wolfram-Harbinger. He savoured the memory of the early days of the Great Reforms, when he extended the public interest consideration to people as well as to companies. He fondly recalled the very first two cases. “Now who was it we first shut down?” he asked Dame Daphne.
“George something, dear,” said Dame Daphne looking up from her knitting.
“Ah yes, that’s right … George it was. George…”
“Osborne, dear.” Tickerty tack, tickerty tack.
“And Cowell. I’m sure there was a Cowell.”
“On the grounds of public interest.”