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Peru: Conmen prey on the greed of the undeserving…

September 23, 2012

…so it was only a matter of time before they discovered carbon credits.

DAN: Well, he basically calculated how many billions of dollars the Matses are going to get from carbon credits. He actually had his calculator handy, and the numbers he was showing for the Matses, he was showing billions of dollars.

LIAM BARTLETT: Mature trees like this are what carbon trading is all about. Over its lifetime, this will absorb about a ton of carbon dioxide – so a big company is happy to pay to protect these in order to release a ton of its own pollution into the atmosphere. They offset a ton of their pollution for the ton that’s absorbed by that tree. It’s called a carbon credit. And when the Australian Government says carbon is worth about $23 a ton, and you start counting the number of trees in this jungle, well, the maths is mind-boggling. David Nilsson has been chasing this carbon fortune for years – from Papua New Guinea to the Philippines. Now, this self-professed carbon cowboy has set up base in Peru’s jungle city of Iquitos, a wild-west town, if ever there was one. He’s got a good lawyer, a young Peruvian girlfriend, and boasts about his past as a successful property developer in Australia. Nilsson even boasts that he can divine underground water. But his real gift, it turns out, is divining ordinary human weakness.

DAN: He told me I was going to be a millionaire within a year.

Sixty Minutes

Silly Indians! Don’t they know you have to hold an important government post before you can make a fortune from carbon credits?

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