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Carbon Cycling, Privatization and the Commons

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dc.contributor.author Lohmann, Larry en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-07-31T14:33:27Z
dc.date.available 2009-07-31T14:33:27Z
dc.date.issued 2003 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2003-09-12 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2003-09-12 en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10535/976
dc.description.abstract "Traditionally, the earth's ability to keep greenhouse gas proportions within the atmosphere within a certain range has been what is known as 'open access'. Anybody has been free to dump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, with no rules being applicable except ones incidentally relating to accompanying pollutants. Because nothing has been at stake, the world's carbon-cycling capacity has never until recently been a resource. And it will always remain too unwieldy and unbounded to be treated as, by contrast, a commons. Yet through familiar processes of overuse and skewed use, global carbon-cycling capacity has recently begun to be treated as economically scarce.... Given such classic conditions of scarcity and competition, pressures both to restrict use of the dump and to transform it into a privately-owned resource can come as no surprise. Since the late 1990s, the latter has been the dominant theme in international climate politics. Some qualifications aside, moreover, entitlements to the earth's carbon-cycling capacity are being issued to those who already use it most. Billions of dollars worth of dumping permits are being allocated to the corporate sector by governmental and United Nations agencies under conditions of undemocratic bargaining. These rights have the potential to form the basis for a new wave of accumulation in what may become the largest market ever created. Hence the journalistic tendency to present the politics of global climate as a conflict between two positions-- that of the US, which rejects the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, and that of most of the rest of the worlds states, which embrace it is misleading. From a commons viewpoint, the two positions are essentially one. The US regime insists on a right to continued disproportionate use of the world's carbon dumps. The Kyoto Protocol -- itself largely a product of US government negotiation and pressure -- formalizes this right, stipulating only that it be provisional and that fairly insignificant flat-rate reductions be made by industrialized countries before other nations. There is a difference, but its immediate relevance to most of the world's citizens is open to question. Nor do the resemblances stop there. US and Kyoto climate politics also both help drive two further important novel movements of privatization. These are the focus of this paper." en_US
dc.language English en_US
dc.subject IASC en_US
dc.subject global commons en_US
dc.subject climate change en_US
dc.subject Kyoto Protocol en_US
dc.subject environmental policy en_US
dc.subject privatization en_US
dc.subject greenhouse effect en_US
dc.subject carbon sequestration en_US
dc.subject governance and politics en_US
dc.title Carbon Cycling, Privatization and the Commons en_US
dc.type Conference Paper en_US
dc.type.published unpublished en_US
dc.coverage.region North America en_US
dc.coverage.country United States en_US
dc.subject.sector Global Commons en_US
dc.identifier.citationconference Politics of the Commons: Articulating Development and Strengthening Local Practices en_US
dc.identifier.citationconfdates July 11-14, 2003 en_US
dc.identifier.citationconfloc Chiang Mai, Thailand en_US
dc.submitter.email lwisen@indiana.edu en_US

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