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Wednesday 2 November 2016

☀ After The Texans: Carbon Black [2] - Declan Milling

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for After The Texans, an Environmental Thriller by (, Clink Street Publishing, 272 pages).

This is the second book in the Carbon Black series.

Don't miss our interview with author Declan Milling.

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and the excerpt below.

Follow the tour where you will be able to read other excerpts (☀), interviews (ℚ), reviews (✍) and guest blog posts (✉).

|| Synopsis || Teaser: Excerpt || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Tour Stops ||


Having exposed the corrupt government in Papua New Guinea, the UN’s carbon market watchdog is riding high. But Emil Pfeffer, its head of market integrity, is in meltdown. The UN investigation has been shelved and his girlfriend, Johanna, has been kidnapped as insurance that his inquiries will go no further.

Wracked by guilt and desperate to find her, Emil finds himself thrust into the high-stakes battle being waged for control of the world’s remaining fossil fuel resources.

It's economic war for hegemony over the future of global energy, being played out against a backdrop of Australian domestic politics, where coal mining and the Great Barrier Reef are locked in a fight to the death.

Teaser: Excerpt

Loftus is a senior counsel, leading the Australian government legal team in an arbitration matter being heard in Hong Kong. Emil is sent to Hong Kong to be briefed on the matter. If the Australian government loses, it will be disastrous for the global carbon market.

      SJ Loftus was not a man to be over-confident. Thirty years at the bar had taught him that. Solid, reliable, invariably spot on when evaluating clients’ prospects. Sound judgment. An entertaining performer, but unlike some of his peers, never a showman. Unemotional, incisive, to the point. That’s the way judges liked it. That’s the way he liked it.
      He’d been running this arbitration case for the government from the start. Now they were into the home straight and he had a positive feeling as to the outcome. Not that he’d had any doubt in the correctness of his client’s, his government’s, position from day one. But all the resources had to be marshalled, all the grounds had to be covered, and all the research done; all the questions had to be answered, all the documents had to be drafted, all the timelines and deadlines had to be met, and all the costs covered; then all the strategy decisions had to be made, all the evidence had to be adduced, and all the arguments had to be put and drawn together as a coherent whole, before one could even begin to start thinking in terms of an outcome.
      All those things had been done. It was coming to an end. He felt they’d scored points on their opponents in every aspect. Every matter raised by the investors in their statement of claim had been surgically dissected and dealt with – forensically, clinically. Every witness, every item of documentary evidence produced by the claimants had been rebutted thoroughly, powerfully, effectively. Every question raised by the arbitrators had been considered carefully, and answered directly, comprehensively.
      The investors had tried some familiar lines of argument. The government had deprived them of their investments, they said, by imposing policies that effectively expropriated those investments. The government had breached its obligations to treat them fairly and equitably, based on the legitimate expectations they had formed from the course of their prior dealings. The government had impaired their investments, by imposing policies that were unreasonable and discriminatory, policies that impaired the management, maintenance, use, enjoyment and disposal of those investments.
      The ‘legitimate expectations’ argument had been tricky to deal with – given the government’s flip-flopping on climate change policy – but, in the end, they’d managed to destroy the investors’ arguments on that one as well, just as they had with all the other grounds of the investors’ claim. And once the panel had decided in the government’s favour, then Loftus would be putting to the panel the government’s claim for its legal costs, which would be substantial, and which the investors would have the pleasure of paying.
      It hadn’t been a long haul. Not as long as some of these matters could be. In fact, in Loftus’s experience it had been positively speedy, compared to some other international dispute settlements. But it had been hard: twelve months of intensive work, sixteen hour days, seven day weeks. Long absences from his family. Long absences from his chambers! Lord knows what crumbs the clerks would throw his way when he returned. But that wouldn’t be until he’d had a long break with his wife and kids, a couple of weeks, to recharge the batteries; find out what they’d been up to, while he’d been tied up on this matter since he couldn’t remember when.
      But it was almost over, they were almost there. All they needed was the decision.

After The Texans
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The Series: Carbon Black

Click on the book cover to Look Inside the book on Amazon and read an excerpt.

Carbon Black [1]

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.

[First Published 1 October 2013 as Kumo People; this edition 21 November 2014, 312 pages]

About the Author

Declan Milling has over thirty years experience practising as an environmental lawyer.

Born in Australia, he holds bachelor degrees in science and law and a masters degree in environmental law.

Currently based in the United Kingdom Declan divides his time between London and Edinburgh.

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