Climate Change

To date, the principal official international response to climate change has been a neoliberal instrument: carbon pricing. This includes both carbon trading and carbon taxes. This response is being contested by many popular movements throughout the world. Indeed, it must be contested if more effective actions are to become possible.

Under the form of state regulation known as carbon markets, governments provide tradable pollution rights to big industrial companies, usually free of charge. Companies then buy any additional permits they need from traders or other firms; or from projects in the South, such as coal mines or waste dumps, that have been altered so as to emit less greenhouse gas than they would do otherwise; or from projects that claim to absorb carbon dioxide, such as tree plantations. All this both sustains fossil fuel dependence and involves new forms of colonialism.

Many of the articles here analyse how carbon trading is worsening global warming. Some also take on the related strategy of carbon taxes. Others go deeper, into contested underlying framings of climate and climate change themselves.