Published: Monday 30 November -0001

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 revealed.

Viewers were misled because Taking the Credit, the sympathetic documentary shown on bbc World News, did not declare it was financed by a trust linked to Birley.

birleyRockhopper TV, the production company that made the documentary, knew but did not disclose to bbc executives the links between Birley’s company Envirotrade and the film’s financier, Africa Carbon Livelihood Trust. Birley funded the trust. Envirotrade saw the film as a “marketing opportunity” for its venture. The company had used grants from the European Commission (EC) to fund a forestry project in Mozambique. The EC suspended its grants because it did not approve of the British socialite’s methods.

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