Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Papua New Guinea in hot seat: claims of false carbon credits


16/06/2009 12:00:00 AM


Papua New Guinea's Office of Climate Change director has denied any wrongdoing amid reports he issued up to 39 false multimillion-dollar carbon trading deals.

Theo Yasause said in Port Moresby on Monday that stolen documents leaked to the media were ''samples'' not designed for official use.

Documents obtained by The Economist and available on the internet show a series of what appear to be multi-million-dollar carbon trading deals with foreign companies in various regions of the country.

Dr Yasause said, ''I've not sold or made any money out of this process.

''I've done no deals, or sold any credits.''

Even though the leaked documents appeared to carry his signature, the official seal, and another colleague's signature, they did not represent real deals, he said.

''It's not a false document but a sample,'' he said.

''It's speculation by certain individuals who have no regard for the process.

''They should have asked before they released this kind of statements,'' he said.

''It was a sample stolen from my drawer, we were looking at several types of project,'' he said.

Dr Yasause said a criminal investigation would be conducted to find who stole the sample documents, along with a review of the Office of Climate Change. ''We never received any funding from foreign entities,'' he said.

''We have not issued any credits to anyone,'' he said.

Papua New Guinea has the world's third-largest rainforest and great interest in turning the asset into carbon trading revenue, but at present no such policy or legislation exists in the country.

Dr Yasause was in the news two years ago when Papua New Guinea's national executive council revoked his appointment as secretary for national planning and monitoring. At the time, sources said the appointment had caused a split in cabinet.

Dr Yasause was an economic adviser to Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare.

Dr Yasause, of Yangoru, East Sepik province, has worked for the Department of Education, Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Commerce and Industry. He has also served with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat as trade policy adviser to the region under a European Union-funded project for the past five years. AAP

No comments:

Post a Comment