THE Australian at the heart of Papua New Guinea's carbon trading rush is the entrepreneur and colourful racing identity Kirk Roberts, who has persuaded many tribal groups to sign their rainforests up for future use as carbon credits.
Opponents call him the kingpin of the ''carbon cowboys'' who have flooded into Port Moresby in the past few years.
''It's no secret that I am one of the most important foreigners in PNG,'' Mr Roberts told the Herald.
The pioneer carbon trader boasts an unusual curriculum vitae, which includes a period as a professional showjumper and a licensed horse trainer who was fined for doping a racehorse and instructing a vet to withhold veterinary records.
He also speaks fondly of his time making improvements to the cockfighting industry in the Philippines.
Mr Roberts, who runs his carbon operations through a company called Nupan, claims to have the power of attorney over 90 forestry deals, giving him ...