Geographies of Climate Change Mitigation: Marketization, Financialization, and Decarbonization 1

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Economic Geography Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM (MDT)
Room: Grand Ballroom D, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Organizers: Mark Cooper, Wim Carton, John Liu
Chairs: Mark Cooper


The ratification of the Paris Agreement marked a new direction for climate governance. In contrast to the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement employs a bottom-up approach centered on coordinated, cooperative, multi-scalar activities. The Paris climate regime is not only likely to encourage an assortment of strategies for governing greenhouse gas emissions, but will implicate a new set of sites, scales, and actors in the mitigation of climate change. These emerging forms of emissions governance offer the potential for new forms of collaboration and social change, but will also bring new tensions and conflicts.

This growing diversity of strategies, sites, scales, and actors in climate mitigation necessitates that we diversify our theoretical, empirical, and analytical approaches, but also that we build new analyses and explanations that cohere across cases, places, and processes. Drawing inspiration from Bridge et al.'s (2013) analysis of energy transitions, the geographies of climate change mitigation can be said to entail: activities within or across specific territories and economies, the structural and contextual processes that condition mitigation activities, and the generation of new – and uneven – geographies through these activities.

By examining the geographies of climate governance we hope to engage some of the most pressing issues around climate change and society: What form does mitigation take in particular places, and how can we make sense of the development and effect of particular mitigation activities? What roles do different actors and governance structures play in these activities? How do the priorities of different actors align or conflict at different scales? What new geographical trends for mitigation are emerging within the Paris regime?

We aim to organize one or more sessions that bring together critical perspectives on climate change mitigation and the role of markets, finance, and regulation in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonize economies. Our aim is for these sessions to bring together perspectives on both the Global North and Global South, to highlight the intertwined character of geographically differentiated processes, and to explore new ways of analyzing and theorizing climate change mitigation. Paper topics could include, but are not limited to:
– Compliance-based policy instruments such as carbon taxes and cap-and-trade
– Programs that encourage the economization of greenhouse gas emissions and the development of low-carbon economies– Non-state governance programs including private standards and sector initiatives
– Carbon offsetting and offset programs such as CDM and REDD+
– Climate finance and investment in low-carbon development– The role of economists, policy advisors, private sector actors, and NGOs in the development, implementation, function, or contestation of mitigation programs
– The political economy and politics of greenhouse gas mitigation and decarbonization within particular territories or sectors
– Perspectives on climate justice and responsibility for mitigation post-Paris, and processes of uneven development in the implementation of mitigation programs.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Joshua Long*, Southwestern University, Jennifer Rice*, The University of Georgia, Climate Urbanism and Eco-Apartheid 20 8:00 AM
Presenter Wim Carton*, Lund University, The multiple social lives of forest carbon: Environmental justice and knowledge asymmetries in carbon forestry 20 8:20 AM
Presenter Abe Goldman*, University of Florida, Tropical Africa and the Political Economy of Climate Change Mitigation 20 8:40 AM
Presenter John Liu*, , Carbon Credits: Varieties, Social Meanings, and Circuits 20 9:00 AM
Discussant Adam Bumpus University of Melbourne 20 9:20 AM

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