Industrial clearance of rainforests accounts for 20 per cent of greenhouse
gases. Every second of each day a portion of jungle the size of a football pitch
is destroyed. As timber is carted off for export, giant agribusinesses often
move in. And so spins the nightmare cycle: a growing release of carbon dioxide
into the atmosphere which in turn alters weather patterns and destroys delicate
Climate-change economists believe that slowing the speed of rainforest
destruction is the most cost-effective way to fight global warming. In his
Treasury report into the economics of climate change last year, Sir Nicholas
Stern said $5bn a year was needed to provide rainforest nations with funds to
ensure what remained was kept intact. But many people say Stern is unduly
optimistic and put the real price at $15bn.
Even so, that seems a small cost for what appears to be a solid proposal to
fight climate change. But the issue facing ...