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Varieties of carbon voluntarism in contemporary capitalism

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  • Louison Cahen-Fourot

    () (Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord (CEPN))

Abstract

We investigate national greenhouse gases mitigation objectives, labeled as carbon voluntarism, in the context of contemporary globalized finance-led capitalism. Using principal components analysis and clustering, we delineate a typology of OECD and BRICS countries from the standpoint of the assumed underpinnings of carbon voluntarism: the productive structure of the economy, the relative position in global GHG chains, the levels of income and capitalist development, the political demand for the environment, the class structure of GHG emissions and financialization. The least carbon voluntary countries appear to be at the beginning of global GHG chains and to rely heavily on the primary sector. They have a weak political demand for the environment and a more unequal class structure of emissions. The most carbon voluntary countries have a higher political demand for the environment, a more equal class structure of emissions, weaker financialization, and greater reliance on the tertiary sector. These countries are also net importers of GHG emissions.

Suggested Citation

  • Louison Cahen-Fourot, 2016. "Varieties of carbon voluntarism in contemporary capitalism," CEPN Working Papers 2016-02, Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord, revised Sep 2016.
  • Handle: RePEc:upn:wpaper:2016-02
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    Keywords

    capitalism; carbon voluntarism; climate change; COP21; financialization; global GHG chains; greenhouse gases; political demand for the environment;

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