In a joint press release this week, Dresdner Kleinwort and Gazprombank announced the proposed launch of a joint venture to invest in carbon emissions trading, taking advantage of Kyoto Protocol credits by fixing leaky Russian gas pipelines to earn credits, which can be traded to other countries. According to Reuters:
“There is huge potential in Russia for realising opportunities under the Kyoto Protocol,” Gazprombank Deputy Chief Executive Alexei Obozintsev said in the statement. Europe’s carbon dioxide trading scheme allows companies to earn credits by investing in projects to reduce industrial emissions of CO2, the main greenhouse gas blamed for global warming, in line with Europe’s goals under the Kyoto Protocol. … A spokesman for Dresdner Bank in Frankfurt said several projects were already being prepared by the 50/50 joint venture. “The focus would be in Russia and eastern Europe, using the Kyoto Protocol’s Joint Implementation (JI) directive,” he said. But he declined to confirm a 15 billion euro ($19.46 billion) value which a report in the Financial Times had put on the venture, assuming that it could generate 1 billion tonnes worth of reduction credits.
Is Warnig too close to Russia for Germany’s own good? As many regular readers of this blog already know, Dresdner Kleinwort has a very long history assisting Russia in its rise toward energy imperialism. The bank’s director Matthias Warnig, a former Stasi officer in East Germany, worked closely with Vladimir Putin during his KGB days, and currently holds an executive position along with former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on the $4.7 billion North European Gas Pipeline project. The most infamous conduct of Dresdner in Russia was of course the drastic under-valuation of Yukos’ main production arm, Yuganskneftegaz, citing a price between $10.4 and $21.1 billion (the Russian government later acquired the company indirectly through a rigged auction for $9.3 billion). Dresdner Kleinwort was also the critical advisor for Gazprom on its $13 billion purchase of Sibneft – a move which has been seen as the definitive tipping point following the Yukos theft toward a monopolistic petro-state. Last summer, Dresdner was one of the bookrunners for the Rosneft floatation – an operation akin to laundering the stolen assets of Yukos – which prompted me and other concerned entities to denounce their “complicity in state-sanctioned theft.” And of course, just last year there were plans (now abandoned) for Dresdner to acquire one-third of Gazprombank’s equity for $800 million.