Europe felled its great forests centuries ago to fuel its economy and the well being of its citizens.  Yet the West insists that countries with rain forests, from Brazil to Borneo, should protect them both to produce oxygen for the rest of the world and to save the forest ecology.  Brazil’s president called the West’s attitude ‘colonial’ and suggested reforesting Europe instead.  Is he right?

Is it hypocritical to insist that Brazil protects its ecology for our benefit when we continue to profit from the destruction of our own?   Should we stop bemoaning rain forest destruction and act to introduce radical taxation to pay to keep them alive?  Or is there nothing any single country can do and instead we need global action - but if so who is deciding on the action and who is enforcing it?

Brazilian politician and environmentalist Marina Silva, Harvard Economist Kenneth Rogoff, former UK Lib-Dm leader Vince Cable and one of Brazil's leading experts on forestry Virgilio Viana debate Forests, Hypocrisy and the West

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