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CONTACT: Frank DeSafey
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World’s Carbon Trading Markets Vulnerable to Enron Type Accounting Scandals
- A Workforce Crisis Looming
Roseville, CA – The world’s carbon trading markets are extremely vulnerable to accounting scandals like those symbolized by Enron, WorldCom and Tyco according to leading greenhouse gas and climate change experts and professionals in an international survey released today by Sequence Staffing and the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute.
Results of “The 2009 Greenhouse Gas/Climate Change Workforce Needs Assessment Survey” exposed their concern that lacking capably skilled personnel and experts to properly account for trading, respondents strongly believe there’s a moderate-high risk that carbon trading markets will be plagued by problems similar to the large accounting scandals of the past.
Respondents also acknowledged the world is facing a critical shortage of qualified staff and experts to meet the rapid growing demands of battling greenhouse gas and climate change, and educational institutions are failing to meet these needs, both potentially contributing factors to a future crisis.
“These findings show a rapid growth in the climate change and global greenhouse gas market,” said Sequence Vice President Frank DeSafey. “The need for expertly trained personnel is absolutely critical if the international community is to successfully meet the challenges looming.”
The first of its kind international survey confirms the workforce and skill shortages critical to battling climate change, and details the depth and breadth of the deficiency, the industry’s anticipated growth and its development as a new professional occupation.
“In a field that is technical and open to accounting mistakes, it is crucial that there are trained professionals capable of supporting a cap-and-trade program or carbon tax system,” Michael Gillenwater, dean of the GHG Management Institute, says. “Our survey indicates that experts believe there is a serious risk of carbon markets and policies being discredited in the future by scandals like we saw with Enron and in the mortgage markets. To avoid this, we will need professionals with the skills and ethics to account, audit, and manage GHG emissions.”
The survey includes responses from over 700 international industry professionals, scientists and organizational leaders throughout public, private and non-profit sectors, reflecting views from individuals on every continent and major nation, and representing a significant fraction of the world’s professional experts and leaders on climate change.
Specifically, the research identified seven key findings:
Greenhouse gas accounting is critical to climate change according to 98.4% who believe measuring and accounting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is critical or very critical to the successful management of global climate change. But, there is a shortage of qualified GHG personnel and experts to undertake current needs and future initiatives say 83.9%.
Further, 84.7% see at least 25% business growth projected for the GHG industry in the next five years, including 88.9% saying it will at least double; 22.8% believing it will triple; and 19.6% saying more than triple. No respondent believed the industry will shrink.
With increased focus on carbon trading, 64.5% believe carbon will be traded at volumes equivalent or greater than other major commodities such as steel or coal. Given the shortage of qualified personnel, 83.2% felt a moderate-high risk that carbon trading is subject to the same accounting problems symbolized by Enron, WorldCom and Tyco.
An indication of how the industry has quickly evolved, 77.2% expect that GHG accounting and management will become professionalized like the information technology profession has. Educational institutions are not adequately training new graduates with GHG accounting and management skills according to 81.9%.
Complete survey results and details are available online: “The 2009 Greenhouse Gas/Climate Change Workforce Needs Assessment Survey.”
Sequence, a premier executive search and staffing firm for the environmental , construction and light industrial industries, is dedicated to supporting the core organizations responsible for building and maintaining the nation’s infrastructure, natural resources and environment.
The Greenhouse Gas Management Institute, the world’s leading nonprofit organization on training and education related to GHG emissions, partnered with Sequence for their reputable experience specializing in recruitment of niche scientific and technical professionals in the environmental sector.
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