Another Good Article on Good and Bad of Carbon Trading Solutions to Deforestation

tropical_forest.jpgNo one disputes that deforestation, particularily in tropical locations such as Brazil, is a major problem for the health of the planet and of humanity. However, one also cannot blame tropical countries for engaging in deforestation when they are in desparate need of economic growth for an impoverished populace. A carbon trading solution suggests that an acre of forest left intact might actually yeild more money for a country’s coffers if the carbon sequestering value of that acre could be sold on an open exchange. Critics, however, point out that some degree of carbon trading may help, but it has the potential nagative side effect of discouraging industrial nations for changing their habits by simply letting them pay to pollute. Read more on WBCSD.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

2 responses

  1. An interesting twist to the debate that I haven’t seen discussed is the “exit strategy” that carbon credits gives land owners. That is, if the $$ given for preserving forests is a one-time payment, and is equivalent to the amount paid for reforestation, would it not be more advantageous to chop the trees, reap profit as grazing land, then later reforest the land for a final windfall? Of course, there is the cost of the trees and felling/planting labor, but over the course of X years, this may be more than offset by annual income.

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