It's the end of the decade and the international response to climate change has defaulted to a piecemeal carbon market, which a new UN body is trying to make work. But the carbon market has become a battleground between anti-capitalist activists, now aggressively militant, and market proponents. And there are others, intent on protecting the status quo, and their financial interests in it. Emil Pfeffer, the new body's Director of Market Integrity, thinks he's making a difference, but he hasn't really left the comfort zone of his cocooned bureaucrat's existence. He's addressing C-World, the biggest carbon market conference and trade fair on the global circuit, when a questioner challenges the integrity of one of Emil's own staff, allegedly under arrest. Events half a world and, for Emil, an earlier lifetime away in Papua New Guinea are about to change everything. His cosseted, self-contained, somewhat self-satisfied world is about to be turned upside down. Risks need to be taken, sacrifices made, to achieve what is worth saving - his organisation's credibility and purpose. His colleagues' reputations. But then he realizes, it's his life that's on the line.
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