Current Institutional Affiliation
Writer/Editor/Team Leader Earth Negotiations Bulletin, International Institute for Sustainable Development

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2000
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, City University of New York (CUNY)
Making Markets out of Thin Air: Pioneering Emissions Trading in Costa Rica

In order to reduce the buildup of atmospheric carbon dioxide responsible for global warming, international policy makers have come up with an arrangement whereby companies can buy and sell the right to emit the greenhouse gas. Carbon sequestration is a form of this; a company buys the right to continue emitting in exchange for planting or protecting trees in a developing country, where it costs less. This scheme is based on the logic that trading will reduce the costs of emissions abatement for indust1ialized countries while transferring resources to poorer countries. My research will analyze carbon sequestration from a political ecology perspective in Costa Rica -the country that has done more than any other to promote emissions trading-using a commodity chain approach.