Mapping Geographies of Unburnable Carbon and Fossil Fuel Infrastructure: Lessons from the Climate Alliance Mapping Project (CAMP)

Authors: Megan Mills-Novoa*, University of Arizona - Geography & Development, Tracey Osborne, University of Arizona, Jamie Ann Lee, University of Arizona, Remy Franklin, University of Arizona
Topics: Cultural and Political Ecology, Indigenous Peoples, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: unburnable carbon, climate justice, counter-mapping, political ecology
Session Type: Interactive Short Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Iris, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


International governments and policymakers have agreed to limit global temperature increase below 2°C, in order to prevent severe impacts of climate change. If we are to meet this target, a third of oil reserves, half of gas reserves and over 80 percent of known coal reserves must remain unused from 2010 to 2050 (McGlade and Ekins 2015). While some scholars have used an economic calculus to determine the location of unburnable carbon, by employing a political ecology perspective we argue that social, cultural and ecologically values must be key factors for guiding this decision. In collaboration with environmental organizations and Indigenous groups across the Americas, we have developed the Climate Alliance Mapping Project (CAMP) with two complementary efforts to map: 1) priority areas for unburnable carbon in the Amazon basin, identified as ecologically and culturally important areas and 2) power plants, oil and gas infrastructure, and fossil fuel spills in the United States. The Climate Alliance Mapping Project (CAMP) is a collaborative effort among academics, environmental NGOs, and Indigenous organizations to address the global challenge of climate change through interactive multimedia story-maps and a web portal that aims to engage publics, build activist and community networks, and inform policy decisions. In this paper, we reflect on the learned lessons and key challenges embedded in efforts to conduct participatory action research and global counter-mapping to support climate justice efforts across the Americas.

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