ClimateGate news

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Money and Connections Behind Al Gore’s Carbon Crusade

For Al Gore, the business of climate change is all about the money. Here's a great article by Deborah Corey Barnes at Human

Al Gore’s campaign against global warming is shifting into high gear. Reporters and commentators follow his every move and bombard the public with notice of his activities and opinions. But while the mainstream media promote his ideas about the state of planet Earth, they are mostly silent about the dramatic impact his economic proposals would have on America. And journalists routinely ignore evidence that he may personally benefit from his programs. Would the romance fizzle if Gore’s followers realized how much their man stands to gain?
There's nothing new about Gore's profit motives concerning carbon trading, but Barnes lays out the details very thoroughly in her article.
Gore’s Circle of Business

Al Gore is chairman and founder of a private equity firm called Generation Investment Management (GIM). According to Gore, the London-based firm invests money from institutions and wealthy investors in companies that are going green. “Generation Investment Management, purchases -- but isn’t a provider of -- carbon dioxide offsets,” said spokesman Richard Campbell in a March 7 report by CNSNews.

GIM appears to have considerable influence over the major carbon-credit trading firms that currently exist: the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) in the U.S. and the Carbon Neutral Company (CNC) in Great Britain. CCX is the only firm in the U.S. that claims to trade carbon credits.

CCX owes its existence in part to the Joyce Foundation, the Chicago-based liberal foundation that provided $347,000 in grant support in 2000 for a preliminary study to test the viability of a market in carbon credits. On the CCX board of directors is the ubiquitous Maurice Strong, a Canadian industrialist and diplomat who, since the 1970s, has helped create an international policy agenda for the environmentalist movement. Strong has described himself as “a socialist in ideology, a capitalist in methodology.”


Along with Gore, the co-founder of GIM is Treasury Secretary and former Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson. Last September, Goldman Sachs bought 10% of CCX shares for $23 million. CCX owns half the ECX, so Goldman Sachs has a stake there as well.

GIM’s “founding partners” are studded with officials from Goldman Sachs. They include David Blood, former CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM); Mark Ferguson, former co-head of GSAM pan-European research; and Peter Harris, who headed GSAM international operations. Another founding partner is Peter Knight, who is the designated president of GIM. He was Sen. Al Gore’s chief of staff from 1977-1989 and the campaign manager of the 1996 Clinton-Gore re-election campaign.


Front and Center

Clearly, GIM is poised to cash in on carbon trading. The membership of CCX is currently voluntary. But if the day ever comes when federal government regulations require greenhouse-gas emitters -- and that’s almost everyone -- to participate in cap-and-trade, then those who have created a market for the exchange of carbon credits are in a position to control the outcomes. And that moves Al Gore front and center. As a politician, Gore is all for transparency. But as GIM chairman, Gore has not been forthcoming, according to Forbes magazine.
This is only the start, you should read the rest.

There's more in my earlier post: Blood and Gore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So Gore invests in companies that help to mitigate climate change and might make some profit out of it?

So what? Do you have to be a poor radical to have any credibility in the environmental space? The only way to effect real change is to harness the power of capitalism that underpinns the current Western way of life.

The point is that climate change is real, immediate and serious, so increasing awareness and providing commercial incentives are an effective and viable way to effect positive change.

Carbon offsetting isn't the solution, but it is certainly part of the solution, when we consider that we need to reduce emissions by 39GT (that's BILLION tonnes) just to stabilise them, by 2013. Even that might not prevent catastrophic effects from warming, but it will certainly help.

Pointing fingers and accusing those who are doing something about it, is certainly not the way to solve the problem. Gore has and still is doing tremendous good in raising public awareness and creating the momentum for positive action.

Or maybe we should just keep witc h-hunting, complaining and bitching while the planet goes to hell?