Four directors of a carbon credit company have been banned for a total of forty-two years. Their company, World Future, sold voluntary emission reduction carbon credits (VERs) at highly inflated prices to members of the public as an investment. They netted at least £2,484,500 although the credits actually had no investment potential.
VERs are fundamentally different from the licences to pollute (such as CERs) that can be readily traded in the compliance carbon market established under the Kyoto protocol. VERs are intended to be used by businesses or individuals to offset their carbon footprints. Unlike with CERs, there is no readily accessible market where customers can sell on their VERs in the hope of being able to make a profit.