Papua New Guinea has been a leader in international climate change forums in relation to deforestation, and domestic interest in carbon trading opportunities is growing. This article surveys the range of issues, international and national, that will need to be tackled if Papua New Guinea is to participate successfully in an international effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Getting the international and domestic building blocks in place will take time: reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation is often cheap, but that does not mean it will be easy. Better and more regular estimation of these emissions will be a critical first step. It is in Papua New Guinea's interests to argue internationally against an exclusive focus on deforestation, and for a broader approach which also includes forest degradation and afforestation.