Selling Carbon: From International Climate Regime to Global Carbon Market

Matthew Paterson

in The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199566600
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

Selling Carbon: From International Climate Regime to Global Carbon Market

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This article discusses the principal dynamics in the international climate change negotiations since they started in 1991. It focuses on a set of ongoing tensions and features of the negotiations, which helps to understand most of the specific processes and outcomes from the UNFCCC in 1992 to the latest round of negotiations in Copenhagen in 2009. This article first explores four principal dynamics, namely the relationship between scientific developments and the negotiations, North–South politics, the particularities of the US political situation, and the power of global business. It then explains how the international governance of climate change has become oriented around the construction of a series of markets where what is traded is carbon emission rights or credits. It shows how this marketization of climate change in the interstate regime is an outcome to a large extent of the interaction of the main dynamics already outlined.

Keywords: international climate regime; global carbon market; international climate change negotiations; marketization; global business

Article.  6886 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Public Policy ; International Relations

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