Political Geographies of Electricity Capital Land Development and Electrification

Authors: Stephanie Pincetl*, UCLA
Topics: Energy, Environment, Political Geography
Keywords: electricity, zero net carbon, offsets, land development
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Washington 3, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


California is a leading state in the U.S. for policies to address climate change and environmental protection. Through an in-depth study and discussion of how these policies are being applied by a large-scale land development, this article reveals the potential of paper GHG reductions and habitat preservation through carbon off-sets and placing solar on roofs, but very little substantive change from business as usual. Further, the development uses disadvantaged communities in southern California for a portion of the carbon offsets by investing in energy efficiencies, unspecified and untargeted in the EIR. The offsets allow the developer to claim zero carbon emissions from a new periurban sub-development of 60,000 dwelling units. enable a peripheral land development to claim less than zero net carbon emissions. Tools and models treat carbon as abstract and commensurable across the globe such that environmental impacts that are irreversible are not taken into account, nor are the environmental justice effects honestly acknowledged.

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