Genesis Energy has been named as one of a dozen New Zealand companies that bought large numbers of fraudulent carbon credits from Russia and the Ukraine, it has been revealed.

The information, released yesterday by the Morgan Foundation, is the second part of the report Climate Cheats, which the Foundation released in April. This outlined how the New Zealand Government had been complicit in the dealing of fraudulent carbon credits manufactured by organised crime groups in Russia and Ukraine.

Greenpeace New Zealand climate spokesperson, Kate Simcock, says she was “highly disturbed” to see Genesis Energy being named as one of a dozen New Zealand businesses using the credits between 2013-2014.

“This is one of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies caught buying dodgy carbon credits, no doubt at rock-bottom prices, in order to appear to meet climate obligations,” she says.

“Genesis Energy would have known that they were buying dirt cheap and very questionable credits. The EU had banned these credits and other companies including Mobil, were refusing to buy them. That ought to have raised serious concerns for Genesis.

“What’s more, the report says there have been allegations that electricity suppliers didn’t drop their prices as a result of the cheap buy. If this is true, it means they used the New Zealand public to profit from the use of these fraudulent credits.”

Contact Energy was the other electricity company named in The Dozen Dirty Businesses report.

Simcock says these revelations make it clear that electricity companies like Genesis Energy, which is 51% Government-owned, have no interest in looking after New Zealanders or the environment.

In April, the company announced it would be keeping its Huntly Power Station’s coal burners on for at least another four years, despite previously promising to turn them off by 2018.

This followed several power companies, including Meridian Energy, holding closed-door discussions in an attempt to subvert the decision to shut the burners down.

“Over the past year we’ve seen major players in the electricity industry conspire to keep dirty fuels burning with zero regard for the climate crisis facing our communities, or the consumers that will have to pay higher costs,” Simcock says.

“Shutting down Huntly Power Station would have been real action when it comes to our climate, but instead Genesis turned a blind eye and bought shonky carbon credits in order to make profit at our expense.

“It’s time for a major shake-up of the electricity market, and we think it will come in the form of disillusioned Kiwis increasingly turning to renewable energy like solar, which they can own and control themselves.”

The Morgan Foundation reports show Russia and the Ukraine have been using loopholes in international rules to create millions of false carbon credits that have no environmental benefit, and then sell them at bargain rates to the world market.

Simcock says the European Union banned trade in these credits in 2013, but New Zealand has continued to use them because they’re cheap, despite our Government almost certainly knowing they’re fraudulent.

The remaining 11 companies named in The Dozen Dirty Businesses report are: BP Energy Asia, New Zealand Forest Leasing Limited, Z Energy Limited, Wairekei Pastoral Limited, New Zealand Steel Limited, Matariki Forests, Contact Energy Limited, Chevron New Zealand, Fonterra Limited, Ngai Tahu Forests Estates Limited, and China Forestry Group of New Zealand Limited.

The Morgan Foundation gave all companies a right to respond, and responses by BP, Contact Energy and Z Energy appeared in the report.