Today, the 2009 Carbon Markets Insight Conference is wrapping up in Copenhagen.
The conference is trying to lay the groundwork for new, improved carbon markets around the world.
In Cambodia, carbon markets are old hat.
Cooking power, for example, is supplied from charcoal, carbonised wood.
And you don't get that charcoal for free... which implies a market.
The title image is a street vendor's DIY charcoal BBQ for making food to sell in Phnom Penh.
Your humble scribe wandered into the kitchens of a few small restaurants; they were powered by charcoal also.
Where does one buy charcoal?
My first question, as I live in Asia, is do you mean wholesale or retail?
Retail carbon sales are made at the side of the road, like everything else, of course.
Mind you, the wholesale network is also a roadside job.
I woke up before sunrise and caught these people in the twilight sorting carbon, wholesale, on the road in front of my hotel.
I couldn't take pictures until it was brighter; I didn't want to spoil any one's night vision with my flash because sorting black objects in the dark is not easy...
After the boss has roughly determined how much charcoal he has bought, he will hand it down to his workers who will squat on the road, weigh it, and repackage it...
Then the dollar baggies are delivered to restaurants and market stalls.
There. You have it.
Carbon markets Cambodian style.
Just don't ask where the wood that is cut down to be burned is from.
People in third world countries don't look upon jungles as being as beautiful as wealthy eco-tourists do. For them jungles are just nuisances that might contain some things which are easily convertible into food or cash.
The argument here is that when you are just trying to survive, today counts more than tomorrow.