Carbon trading in the city of undoing

Newlands, Maxine (2012) Carbon trading in the city of undoing. In: Poynter, Gavin, MacRury, Iain, and Calcutt, Andrew , (eds.) London After Recession: a fictitious capital? Design and the Built Environment . Ashgate Publishing, Oxford, UK, pp. 199-212.

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Abstract

The Earthrise image, captured by the Apollo space mission in 1969, is thought to have catalysed a great change in the way we perceive hour relationship to Planet Earth. (Gore 2007; Dryzek 1997; Doyle 2007; Lester 2010) But the priceless profundity distilled in this picture, and the far-reaching, deep-seated reforms said to have been instilled by it, have somehow led to more of the same, short0term market trading which makes London what it is today. Alongside every other form of debt (personal, corporate, institutional, national), in the London markets humanity's perceived debt to the planet is now traded in the form of internationally-sponsored permits to emit carbon; and these, in turn, have emitted further, secondary markets in carbon-trading derivatives. This chapter seeks to show how a sense of the profound has found its way into the lightweight world of financial intermediation, and to account for London's role in implementing this transformation. The chapter begins with a skeletal sketch of carbon trading and how it works, followed by a brief note on London's central position in this trade. The next section identifies various factors which have contributed to the development of international cooperation; state regulation and its relation to the market; the parallel rise of environmentalism and financial services; and the role of politicians and policy makers in translating the former into the latter. The concluding section is a kind of balance sheet which offsets ways in which carbon trading marks a radical departure for capital, against other aspects in which it represents the natural continuation of capitalist commodification.

Item ID: 25588
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-4094-3102-2
Keywords: carbon trading, emissions trading, NEPI's, fictitious capital
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2013 04:31
FoR Codes: 14 ECONOMICS > 1499 Other Economics > 149902 Ecological Economics @ 80%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200206 Globalisation and Culture @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960707 Trade and Environment @ 65%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified @ 35%
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