Fuel me once: beware the eco pledges of BP et al - they’ve ...

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Fuel me once: beware the eco pledges of BP et al - they’ve conned us before

ANALYSIS | Net zero, carbon offsets ... fossil fuel firms need action not words, without pulling the wool over our eyes

Robin Pagnamenta

Murky deals, offshore bank accounts and money laundering – it had all the trappings of a bestselling crime novel. When dozens of people accused of involvement in a multibillion-rand carbon-trading swindle went on trial in Paris in 2018, French authorities described it as the “crime of the century”.

One of the ringleaders of the fraud, which Europol said had cost the EU up to €5bn, including €1.6bn in France alone, was Christiane Melgrani, a former maths teacher turned Marseilles piano-bar manager who had links to Corsican crime families. She allegedly recycled some of the proceeds into real estate projects in Beverly Hills.

As Rio Tinto, the world’s second-biggest miner, announced plans to spend $1bn (R15bn) over the next five years to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, it’s worth recalling a few of the details of the fraud, for which Melgrani was jailed two years ago...

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