Finland says Europe must prepare for the breakdown of the euro

Erkki Tuomioja, Finland’s foreign minister told the Daily Telegraph that European leaders must prepare for an impending rupture of the euro zone. Tuomioja said he should be ready with an operational plan for any eventuality


Europe must prepare for the breakdown of the euro: Finland

There are no rules on how to leave the euro, but it’s only a matter of time. Or the south or north will fall, because the currency is causing misery for millions of people and destroying the future of Europe “Tuomioja said.

“It’s a total catastrophe. We will run out of money in the way we are going. But nobody wants Euroapa to be the first to abandon the euro and bear all the blame.”

The Minister of Finland, one of four euro zone countries rated “AAA” said the euro could break before a stronger European Union.

“It’s not something anyone wants in Finland, let alone the government. But we must be prepared. The breakdown of the euro is not the end of the European Union. This could work better with the European Union “he said.

Finland, which has veto power could use it to block new rescue measures and insisted on the guarantee of both Greece and Spain in exchange for bailout loans.

US Companies have used a questionable business practice of carbon credits

The Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol eventually gestated a perverse incentive; companies find it cheaper to offset their greenhouse gas reducing

Stefano Valentino * / Tierramérica Special

Green house gas reduction

Major U.S. corporations such as Dow Chemical, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Cabot Corporation, have used a questionable business practice of carbon credits to offset their climate pollution’s role in Europe, according to the following investigation.

Dow was the main buyer. The company has factories producing plastics and chemicals that emit carbon dioxide in Germany, Belgium, Spain, Holland and Poland. Meetings take place 21 among the top 100 European buyers of certified carbon emission reductions (CERs) arising from the 19 projects of dubious legitimacy.

The power generation settled down in the European Union (EU), some of them subsidiaries of U.S. companies are forced to cut greenhouse-gas pollution that cause global warming, by adopting cleaner technologies or offsetting emissions through the purchase of CRE.

Companies find it cheaper to offset their emissions to reduce them really. And the weaknesses of European standards, they can.

The CRE are fought under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of Kyoto Protocol, the only international treaty that requires signatory industrial nations to reduce their greenhouse emissions.

CRE each equal to one ton of carbon dioxide that was thrown into the atmosphere. And for the responsible delivery of an approved project, after certifying that the reduction actually took place. Then you can generate tradable instruments, subject to the laws of supply and demand.

The CDM was established by the United Nations Organization for industrial countries subsidize climate change mitigation in developing nations. But ended up creating a perverse incentive to maximize profits used a handful of manufacturing of industrial gases, mostly located in India and China, which obtained those 19 projects.

China Jiangsu Meilan Chemical’s and Navin Fluorine International Hindu, among others, pledged to capture and destroy HFC-23, a residue from the production of the refrigerant HCFC-22 (hydro chlorofluorocarbon), banned in the European Union and the United States because depletes the ozone layer.

HCFC-22 is also a super greenhouse gas, 810 thousand times more potent than carbon dioxide, and HFC-23 11 000 it is 700 times more.

But Indian and Chinese companies ended up producing more of that gas and getting a lot more CRE than necessary, according to research panel of experts in CDM methodology.

In June 2010, non-governmental environmental organizations CDM Watch, based in Bonn, and Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA, for its acronym in English), based in London, discovered this blatant misuse of the CDM and provided evidence.

“Certificates of HFC-23 do not represent real reductions in greenhouse gases,” said Diego Martinez-Schuett, CDM Watch. “And buyers used these false reductions as permits to pollute more in Europe.”

The 19 projects of industrial gas destruction approved by the CDM accumulated nearly 500 million loans worth three thousand 300 million dollars. Nearly 90 percent of them flooded the EU, and constitute more than half of the total block offsets.

Between 2009 and 2010, U.S. corporations bought almost one million credits for HFC-23 at an average price of $ 16 per unit. Since then “spent” at least $ 16 million in alleged emission reductions.

The same behavior continued their European competitors such as BP and British Shell, RWE of Germany, Norway’s Statoil, the Spanish-Italian group Enel and France’s EDF.

The ten most popular transatlantic companies listed on the main global stock market joined Euronext NYSE-$ 254 million on these false claims, excluding 2011 data not yet published.

In June last year, European regulators decided to ban these CRE, but the measure will only be effective from May 2013. “The EU came under pressure from investors to postpone the ban, initially scheduled for January 1, 2013,” said activist Natasha Hurley, of the EIA.

Meanwhile, the door remains open for Dow, Shell and other polluting companies to acquire a further 53 million false CRE.

U.S. firms say they were unaware of the unlawful nature of HFC-23 credits before the discarded EU.

What matters now is “what will make buyers of these CERs to legitimize their compensation measures,” asked Rob Elsworth, of Sandbag, a nongovernmental organization that investigates the integrity of emissions trading and added up the figures used in this article to show the involvement of businesses.

The question was posed to several of these companies

“In recent years, we use these CERs to meet,” said the head of communications at Dow’s subsidiary in Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg, Drea Berghorst. “We will continue to meet the standards, which means that we will stop using the CRE industrial gas in April 2013,” he said.

Chevron and Cabot responded similarly, without ruling out the option to buy more credits from HFC-23 while in circulation.

“Chevron respected and will respect all aspects required by European standards for emissions trading,” said Sean Comey, media consultant in the company’s world headquarters in California. The corporation took advantage of these credits to offset emissions from offshore oil which operates in Britain.

“We work with a prestigious financial agent, JP Morgan, to buy those CRE and ordered everyone to be certified and validated,” said Vanessa Apicerno, a specialist in media relations of Cabot’s headquarters in Boston.

The corporation used the CRE to offset pollution generated by their articles of carbon black and thermoplastic in France and Italy. ConocoPhillips, which used the credit for its refineries in Britain and Norway, declined to comment.

Now more than ever, companies have good reason to use shareholders’ money in investments that exacerbate climate change.

In fact, brokers are trying to sell the race remnants of these CRE before they become waste in 2013, and push the prices down. In February, prices were only six dollars a ton, after reaching a peak of $ 33.

“Companies are looking for the cheapest way to meet the standards. Market participants are free to have their ethical considerations about how to deal with climate change, but the system is governed by the economy, “said Richard Chatterton, analyst, Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Statistics show that the price difference is more important than the quality of the certificate.

“The common CRE (such as HFC-23) still constitute over 95 percent of the volumes traded in the future,” said Sara Ståhl, director of global markets for Green Exchange, a market operator dedicated to environmental derivatives. “And they are just 46 cents cheaper than our future plus CRE (non HFC-23).”

Considering the additional amount of CRE inflated supported by the EU until next year, we can estimate that savings to business will be about $ 24 million. The real question is whether these coins worth saving for corporations to save the real world from overheating.

* Published in accordance with Freereporter This research was supported by the Fund for Investigative Journalism and the Society of Environmental Journalists

Endosulfan pesticide Indias’ Cheap Alternative!

Diagram showing development of pesticide resis...
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Endosulfan became a highly controversial agrichemicals due to its acute toxicity, potential for bioaccumulation, and role as an endocrine disruptor. Because of its threats to human health and the environment, a global ban on the manufacture and use of endosulfan was negotiated under the Stockholm Convention in April 2011. The ban will take effect in mid 2012, with certain uses exempted for 5 more years. More than 80 countries, including the European Union, Australia and New Zealand, several West African nations,  the United States,  Brazil, and Canada had already banned it or announced phase outs by the time the Stockholm Convention ban was agreed upon. It is still used extensively in India, China, and few other countries. It is produced by Makhteshim Agan and several manufacturers in India and China.

Cheap, effective and highly toxic Endosulfan pesticide is banned in most countries, but still widely embraced by farmers in India. While the government claims there is no affordable alternative to the chemical, families are paying a high price.

­Until recently, India was one of the few countries in the world that allowed the use of Endosulfan. The agriculture ministry says there is no other cheap alternative to the powerful pesticide. But finally, after mounting pressure at home and abroad, the Supreme Court voted on an eight-week ban on the pesticide which is set to expire in mid-July.

The use of the pesticide has resulted in serious consequences, with a whole generation of children suffering devastating health problems. Umaibath Sariya’s body is the size of a baby, but in reality, she is five years old. In her short life, she has endured an operation to reduce the size of her abnormally large head. And she is not the only one suffering like this. “The doctor said that we have to put a tube into our child’s head otherwise there would be complications,” says Hajira Kaithdu, Sariya’s mother. And Sariya’s mother thinks she knows what has caused it.

In the cashew plantations in India’s southern state of Kerala, the government sprayed the highly-controversial pesticide Endosulfan on the crops during the 90s, which locals say has led to a generation of deformed children. Victims groups believe there are around 9,000 children like Sariya, with swollen heads, and developing at only half the rate they should.

For some women that prospect is too much and they opt for abortion, sometimes disturbingly late. “My daughter was operated on in the eighth month of her pregnancy,” says M.K. Leela Kumari Amma, an advocate for Endosulfan victims.

While studies show that Endosulfan causes severe developmental and reproductive problems in humans and animals, proponents of the pesticide say their rivals are the ones pushing this ban. “This pressure is only from the EU because the EU has various newly invented products which are waiting to enter the market,” states Pradip Dave, a representative of the Pesticides Manufacturers and Formulators Association of India.

But the families of the sick feel that they have been forgotten for long enough. “There is no value for a human life, it’s all about the money,” Amma says. “People don’t care about each other these days. People who have money are categorized as high caste and the poor people are counted as low caste and nobody cares whether we are dead or alive”. The families are drained, emotionally and financially – their life savings wiped out to care for their severely disabled children. “I feel very sad when I see my child like this. Though it’s disturbing, we have to tolerate it,” says E.K. Mohammed Lami, father of an Endosulfan victim.

There is little point waiting for government relief as repeated requests seem to fall on deaf ears in the capital. All these families can do is to make the most of the short lives their disfigured children will have. Most will die before their 20th birthday.

There is no mercy! When pesticides are used to save the Nut [Cashew] Plantation,  because it is a cheap solution to an expensive problem, and saving Nuts, is all about money, and what is cheap, versus the preservation of life!