Posted: 12 Apr 2010 Print Send a link
"A BBC documentary about socialite Robin Birley and his carbon credits business venture in Africa should never have been broadcast, an internal inquiry by the corporation has found. Millions of viewers were misled because the sympathetic documentary shown on BBC World News failed to declare that it was financed by a secretive trust that was linked to Birley. ... Envirotrade, Birley's company, then sells 'carbon credits' to celebrities and businesses wanting to offset their emissions. Customers who used Birley's venture to offset emissions included the agency that handles Brad Pitt and George Clooney. Rockhopper TV, the production company that made the documentary, knew but did not disclose to BBC executives, of links between Envirotrade and the Africa Carbon Livelihood Trust, which funded the making of the documentary. Had it done so, Taking The Credit, the documentary, would never have been shown, the BBC ruled, although it also claimed the programme was balanced." Mark Olden and Michael Gillard, The Observer, 11 April 2010.