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Standardism as government : voluntary carbon certification and the Peruvian cookstove sector

  • Laurent, Arthur
Publication Date
Apr 11, 2014
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The voluntary carbon offset market is a market mechanism for offsetting greenhouse gases emissions for organizations and individuals that are not legally committed to reductions. Until now it has not been studied much in academic circles. This dissertation looks at the governance of the chain of actors involved in the mechanism. A pluri-disciplinary approach is used based on international relations, political science of offsets and standards combined with an anthropological analysis of development projects. The central question is thus: how are carbon-offset programs governed? The empirical work is a case study of a new stove (improved cookstoves) diffusion program in Peru under the Gold Standard. The first focus is on the social and cultural context of cooking in the Andes. Then four projects before carbon funding are studied. The standard is the subject of the following section and the retailer of the credits generated by the programme and three different types of clients are then presented. We can then discuss the creation, design and management of the standard through an ethnography of the social business that implements. Finally, the influence of the projects on the sector can be discussed. The chain studied presents a governance system that is multi-level and multi-actors, with mainly private actors that act parallel to the state. This type of governance is characterized by a series of standards that define the model the reality should resemble to and is called standardism.

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