As prices rise, the public will be forced to contend with high utility bills, restriction on choice of transport, forced to install smart meters that can be turned off at a moments notice, what they eat, etc while the rich get richer!
In Boris Johnsons’ 10 point plan for Net Zero, part of the strategy announced was new investment:
“£124 million boost to our Nature for Climate Fund helping us towards meeting our commitments to restore approximately 280,000 hectares of peat in England by 2050 and treble woodland creation in England to meet our commitments to create at least 30,000 hectares of woodland per year across the UK by the end of this parliament.”
Planting trees has become a financially viable option to compete with alternative land uses. Carbon comes to forestry as a valuable new source of income as the market matures. These investments sell their carbon credits to businesses to offset their carbon footprint. The price for carbon is unfixed and the market is positive with the sector showing continued buoyancy, with the carbon credits likely to rise – currently trading at around £6 to £15/t CO2; expected rise to £70/tCO2e. Expectations that this venture market will become an increasingly significant market along with public funding being available to incentivise.
Friends in High Places
Carbon credits, just like philanthropic investment is fast becoming the must have share for Elite investors.
There is nothing illegal about this, but it comes at a price for local areas and communities. For example, just recently in Cwrt y Cadno in Wales, the Foresight Group bought a local farm, and as I am told, outbid a local young farmer by offering way above the asking price. This, I believe, is one of many farms being bought up for carbon capture, solar and wind farms. Already in operation are Tigwynt, near Carno, Powys, Gelliwen near Caerffili; Tai Hen, Anglesey and in planning stage, Waun Maenllwyd, near Lampeter.
This petition is close to my heart as the picture shows the exact place where my great grandparents are buried in Cwrt y Cadno – a beautiful untouched area, in the heart of Caio, Mid Wales, and the local people have started a Petition https://www.change.org/p/foresight-group-holdings-ltd-save-the-cwrtycadno-valley
Foresight Group is a private equity and venture capital firm and has plans to plant commercial, non-native trees over most of the fields and hillsides. This will irreversibly destroy the natural ancient area of beauty and ruining decades of generational sheep farming. The Foresight Group is a very wealthy commercial company and is using this tactic to sell off carbon credits for financial gain and investment for profit for their investors.
As one of the Directors of Foresight Group said recently in an Knight Frank on line article “From an investment perspective, as one of the least forested countries in Europe, the UK is ripe for large-scale afforestation. To date, afforestation investment opportunities have been rare, but provide the opportunity for even greater returns than mature woodland. With the Government publicly supportive of mass afforestation, rural landowners and farmers have a once in a lifetime opportunity to enhance the value of their estates.”
How is this beneficial to young local farmers in Wales; especially when it’s said that the Welsh taxpayer is helping to fund it with the purchase of trees? But what is far more dangerous is that many parts of agricultural Wales are being bought up by the rich Elites, making it harder on local young farmers to start up in their own area. As for Wales, these turbines, solar panels etc., are not made in Wales but by numerous off shoot companies under the Foresight Group banner. They’re on a win-win.
People would be right in assuming that ‘Saving the planet’, ‘renewable energy’ is merely a pseudonym for making the rich, richer.
But it doesn’t stop there.
James Cayzer-Colvin, who was Chairman of Henderson Small Companies Investment Trust has invested in Foresight. He is also Director of The Bronze Oak Project, a non-for profit organisation, hoping to become a Charity that also has Sir Charles Burrell as a Director.
Sir Charles Burrell, a very good friend of Carrie & Boris Johnson, he and his wife are known apparently as the ‘King and Queen of Rewilding Britain’, is a Trustee of the charity, Rewilding Britain.
Rewilding Britain obtained a lot of funding from Weston Foundation. A cousin of Alannah Weston (Times Rich List £11Bn), Kate Hobhouse, a Tory backer, is the chairwoman of Fortnum & Mason, the Queen’s grocer, in Piccadilly, London and within her company, Wittington Investments Finance Ltd, (parent company Wittington Investments Ltd) of which the family charity, Garfield Weston Foundation is a major shareholder. (Wittington Investments Ltd own Fortnum and Masons, Hotels, Retail, Real Estate, Agriculture). Her husband, William, 64, was a director of the design firm behind Boris Johnson’s controversial Downing Street flat refurbishment.
Lord Goldsmith, who believes rewilding delivers ‘huge benefits’, co-founded the charity Rewilding Britain, which lobbies politicians and helps run a number of rewilding schemes. His financier brother Ben is also a co-founder of the charity — and happens to be a member of the board of the DEFRA, along with Henry Dimbleby and Tony Juniper, among others.
Tony Juniper, the former chief executive of Friends of the Earth — and Green Party parliamentary candidate — who is head of the Natural England quango. He spoke at a Bird Fair event with Carrie Johnson, then Symonds, calling for farmers to be removed from tracts of the Green Belt, allowing it to return to nature.
Ben Goldsmith, for his part, caused fury among farmers by tweeting that ‘overgrazing’ by upland sheep farmers was responsible for the devastating floods suffered in South Wales.
He apparently takes the view (again central to the philosophy of many supporters of rewilding) that getting rid of sheep farming would allow scrubland and forest to develop in the hills, helping to absorb floodwater.
In their accounts, Rewilding stated “We produced a list of key rewilding-related policy asks for Defra, shared with Michael Gove and his team. We also held key meetings with Mr Gove and other MPs and took part in House of Commons workshops on the future of land management, helping to shape their thinking and thus to influence
government policy. “
It really helps to have friends in high places.
Another close friend of Boris and Carrie Johnson is Damian Aspinall. In 2020, one of his many companies,
Aspers UK Holdings donated £100,000 to the Conservative Party.
He is a life-long friend of Zac Goldsmith whose brother Ben, co-founder of Rewilding Britain, is also a Trustee of Aspinall’s charity, Aspinall Foundation, and is also a friend of Carrie, and employed her when she was engaged to Boris. Ben Goldsmith, a Tory donor, now sits on the board of Defra and shares many of his brother’s views on green issues. Sir George Osborne, was stepfather to Aspinall’s father, John Aspinall; the present George Osborne ex-MP’s uncle, and one of four children, James Osborne, spent his working life running half-brother John Aspinall’s various zoos and casinos — Howlett zoo and The Clermont, Aspinalls and later the Aspers clubs. Theo Osborne, younger brother of George, also once worked for his cousin, Damian Aspinall.
Another trustee and director of Aspinall is Robin Birley, the son of Mayfair impresario and Annabel’s founder, Mark. Robin Birley donated to Boris’s leadership campaign and has frequently hosted the Prime Minister and his wife at 5 Hertford Street, his exclusive private member’s club. Robin Birley is half-brother to Ben Goldsmith.
Another Director and Trustee is Charles Filmer. Charles Filmer is a wealth manager who has worked closely with Zac Goldsmith and helped facilitate his donations to the Tory Party. Charles Filmer is a partner and Head of Private Office Administration of Alvarium. A company that has worked with Aspinall’s. He has worked as a family office solution provider to prominent international families. He initially worked with the Goldsmith Family Group, latterly as a Partner, gaining understanding of the workings of an international family office. In 1997, he set up Unicorn Administration, offering family office advisory and administration services to an international client base, including the Goldsmith family. Unicorn became the Alvarium Private Office in 2012 and twice won the Spears Multi-Family Office of the Year Award.
An on line article states “But, in recent years, globalisation has swept away this sleepy world. Wealthy families have split their household management between private investment offices, which handle their money, and high-end concierge outfits, which smooth over scandals and specialise in booking holidays on islands where the sand on the beach is ‘just the right shade of mother of pearl’. Unicorn, based in Maidenhead, Berkshire, is Britain’s leading family concierge group and acts for the Goldsmith family. Its founder, Charles Filmer, describes his firm as the ‘back office’ to the family ‘front offices’ of Mayfair.”
Alvarium Fund Managers (UK) Ltd has been appointed as the investment fund manager for LXi REIT plc and along with non-executive Director of Foresight, Patricia Dimond has been appointed as a non-executive on the board of LXi REIT plc.
So everyone seems to be connected. Let’s keep it among close friends and family!
As prices rise, and the public are forced to contend with the financial effects of #Net Zero, but the rich are getting richer!
Image : Offshore Leaks, Panama Papers
Sustainable Forestry Management, Bermuda connected to Guy Weston (Weston Foundation), Whittington Investments Ltd., Ben Goldsmith. Also Van Cutsem family.
The Van Cutsem family – Hugh Van Cutsem who died in 2013 was a friend of Prince Charles. Charles, the boys and Camilla attended his funeral. His sons Edward, Hugh Ralph, Nicholas and William are included in the graph are also close friends to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and his granddaughter was one of their bridesmaids at their wedding. Greg Janetos seen at top was a Director of Sustainable Forestry Management. According to his LinkedIn page he “negotiated first sale of SFM carbon credits (50,000 tonnes in April – November 2007). Responsible for analysis of carbon markets and development of trading opportunities for…”