Carbon Markets: Rehabilitating the Egalitarian Objection
While carbon markets have been increasingly scrutinized for their moral merits, the egalitarian critique of carbon markets has been largely neglected. Many admit that emission-trading schemes (ETSs), in their actual form, reproduce pre-existing inequalities. However, this is often seen as a contingent, easily-fixed problem, as carbon markets can fulfill egalitarian goals as long as the initial allocation of permits is made according to an egalitarian ideal. The goal of this paper is to challenge this idealistic rejection of the egalitarian critique of carbon markets by underlying seven structural features of carbon markets that explain why, in all likelihood, ETSs will always reproduce pre-existing inequalities (without even curbing carbonemissions). First, carbon markets are bound to cover mainly the activities of wealthy and powerful corporations. Second, carbon markets are excessively complex and their operations typically lack transparency. Third, information asymmetries persist between public servants and private firms regarding ETSs. Fourth, target setting is a political, highly partisan process. These four features give private firms the power to manipulate at their advantage the rules of a carbon market. Three other features explain why the motivations of agents under an ETS will most of the time be corrupted: carbon markets trivialize the harm done by carbon emissions; they alter our perception of nature’s value; and they crowd-out our intrinsic motivations. Thus, influential private firms will have the power and willingness to bend carbon markets at their advantage.
Aldred, Jonathan. 2012. “The Ethics of Emissions Trading.” New Political Economy 17(3): 339–60.
Aldred, Jonathan. 2016. “Emissions Trading Schemes in a ‘Non-Ideal’ World.” In Climate Justice in a Non-Ideal World, eds. Claire Heyward and Dominic Roser. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Associated Press. 2015. “Texas Man Who Won Hunting Auction to Be Allowed to Import Black Rhino Trophy.” The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/27/texas-man-auction-import-black-rhino-trophy.
Böhm, Steffen, and Siddhartha Dabhi, eds. 2009. Upsetting the Offset: The Political Economy of Carbon Markets. London: MayFlyBooks.
Butler, William F., and Tim G. Acott. 2007. “An Inquiry Concerning the Acceptance of Intrinsic Value Theories of Nature.” Environmental Values: 149–168.
Caney, Simon. 2010. “Markets, Morality and Climate Change: What, If Anything, Is Wrong with Emissions Trading?” New Political Economy 15(2): 197–224.
Caney, Simon, and Cameron Hepburn. 2011. “Carbon Trading: Unethical, Unjust and Ineffective?” Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 69: 201–234.
Choné, Maylis. 2017. “États-Unis : Des Permis de Chasse à Vendre Aux Enchères.” consoGlobe. https://www.consoglobe.com/etats-unis-des-permis-de-chasse-vendre-aux-encheres-cg (July 12, 2017).
Cohen, Gerald A. 1997. “Where the Action Is: On the Site of Distributive Justice.” Philosophy & Public Affairs 26(1): 3–30.
Dirix, Jo, Wouter Peeters, and Sigrid Sterckx. 2016. “Emissions Trading Ethics.” Ethics, Policy & Environment 19(1): 60–75.
Dooley, Kate. 2014. Misleading Numbers: The Case for Separating Land and Fossil Based Carbon Emissions. Brussels: FERN.
Executive Summary. 2017. “Policy Brief: A Fair EU ETS Revision.” Carbon Market Watch. http://carbonmarketwatch.org/eu-emissions-trading-system/ (July 12, 2017).
Falk, Armin, and Nora Szech. 2013. “Morals and Markets.” Science 340(6133): 707–11.
GIEC. 2013a. “Changements Climatiques 2013 - L’atténuation Du Changement Climatique - Résumé à l’intention Des Décideurs.”
GIEC. 2013b. “Changements Climatiques 2013 - Les Éléments Scientifiques - Résumé à l’intention Des Décideurs.”
Goodin, Robert E. 1994. “Selling Environmental Indulgences.” Kyklos 47(4): 573–596.
Grainger, Corbett A., and Charles D. Kolstad. 2010. “Who Pays a Price on Carbon?” Environmental and Resource Economics 46(3): 359–376.
Hansmann, Henry. 1996. The Ownership of Enterprise. Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Le Grand, Julian. 1990. “Equity Versus Efficiency: The Elusive Trade-Off.” Ethics 100(3): 554–68.
Lohmann, Larry. 2014. “Performative Equations and Neoliberal Commodification: The Case of Climate.” In Nature Inc. : Environmental Conservation in the Neoliberal Age, ed. Bram Büscher. Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 158–80.
Mathesius, Sabine, Matthias Hofmann, Ken Caldeira, and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. 2015. “Long-Term Response of Oceans to CO2 Removal from the Atmosphere.” Nature Climate Change.
Page, Edward A. 2012. “The Hidden Costs of Carbon Commodification: Emissions Trading, Political Legitimacy and Procedural Justice.” Democratization 19(5): 932–950.
Page, Edward A. 2013. “The Ethics of Emissions Trading.” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 4(4): 233–43.
Pearse, Rebecca, and Steffen Böhm. 2014. “Ten Reasons Why Carbon Markets Will Not Bring about Radical Emissions Reduction.” Carbon Management 5(4): 325–37.
Piketty, Thomas. 2014. Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge, Mass.; London, UK: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Pink, Daniel H. 2009. Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us. New York, NY: Riverhead Books.
Posner, Eric A, and David A Weisbach. 2010. Climate Change Justice. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Reyes, Oscar, and Balanyá Belén. 2016. Carbon Welfare: How Big Polluters Plan to Profit from EU Emissions Trading Reform. Brussels: Corporate Europe Observatory.
Rode, Julian, Erik Gómez-Baggethun, and Torsten Krause. 2015. “Motivation Crowding by Economic Incentives in Conservation Policy: A Review of the Empirical Evidence.” Ecological Economics 117: 270–282.
Sandel, Michael J. 2005. Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics. Cambridge Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Spash, Clive L. 2010. “The Brave New World of Carbon Trading.” New Political Economy 15(2): 169–95.
Stiglitz, Joseph E. 2013. The Price of Inequality. New York; London: W.W. Norton & Co.
Titmuss, Richard Morris. 1971. The Gift Relationship: From Human Blood to Social Policy. New York: Pantheon Books.
Tordjman, Hélène, and Valérie Boisvert. 2012. “L’idéologie marchande au service de la biodiversité ?” Mouvements (70): 31–42.
Weiss, Edith Brown. 2009. “Le Développement Durable, Une Éthique Pour Le XXIe Siècle.” In Regards Sur La Terre 2009. L’annuel Du Développement Durable. La Gouvernance Du Développement Durable, eds. Pierre Jacquet, Rajendra K. Pachauri, and Laurence Tubiana. Paris: Les Presses de Sciences Po, 223–33.
This obra is licensed under a Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial-SemDerivações 4.0 Internacional