Thursday, July 16, 2009

Before the carbon rush

The Economist's Natasha Loder has a post on her blog worth reading about the speculators getting preemptively involved in carbon forest credits in Papua New Guinea. A former Australian horse trader and cock-fighting impresario, it seems, is going around the place "signing up landowners for big carbon trading deals in advance of negotiations to trade forest carbon as offsets between countries".

There's something Conradian about this story; the old one of white folks going into the jungle to try and get rich, making up the rules as they go along. Is this how carbon trading is going to work?

Although not just white folks, apparently. Natasha is commenting on a story by the AP's Ilya Gridneff. I can't find the original elsewhere online (it's reproduced on her post), but a google reveals he's all over this kind of stuff in PNG. Sample first par: "A nephew of Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Michael Somare is accused of pressuring remote villagers to sign away their land for carbon deals despite there being no carbon trade laws in place."