Valuing the forest can’t be left to the market – Under what insane set of values are lifeless, horizontal logs priced higher than living, vertical trees? How can it make economic sense to run down one of the world’s most important climate stabilisers, water pumps and cooling systems for the sake of a quick buck, burgers and gold trinkets?

The answers to these three questions are capitalists, capitalism, and free market logic. Little wonder then that there is considerable scepticism about the surge of interest in Amazon carbon credits, which are essentially an attempt to solve the problem created by capital markets with – you guessed it – another capital market.

For supporters, carbon credits are a long-overdue way to channel more money to Amazon communities to protect, maintain and restore forests. For critics, they are part of a ruse that allows big carbon polluters in other countries to continue polluting, incentivises a new wave of “green land grabs.”

Read the article “Carbon cowboys” ride into an Amazonian storm