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Understanding carbon offset technologies


Lovell, HC and Liverman, D, Understanding carbon offset technologies, New Political Economy, 15, (2) pp. 255-273. ISSN 1356-3467 (2010) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2010 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/13563460903548699


In this article we unpack the 'black box' of carbon offsetting through a critical examination of the technologies and techniques that create carbon credits. Drawing on empirical research of compliance (Clean Development Mechanism) and voluntary carbon offset markets, we highlight the diversity of technologies, techniques and devices involved in carbon offsetting, ranging from refrigerant plants to systems of calculation and audit. We suggest that polarised debates for and against offsetting do not adequately reflect the considerable variations between types of offset project and governance practices in the compliance and voluntary offset markets. Using conceptual insights from governmentality theory and science and technology studies we assess the tensions in making standard, fungible carbon credits. In conclusion, we suggest attention to the technologies and materiality of carbon offsetting allows a fresh perspective on somewhat entrenched debates about the advantages and disadvantages of offsetting. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology and social studies of science and technology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Lovell, HC (Professor Heather Lovell)
ID Code:99601
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:76
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2015-03-30
Last Modified:2015-04-08

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