The principal force involved in constructing climate change policy is dependent on many factors ranging from ideals to principals. Neoliberalism is one such ideology which is by at large not only shaping the agenda of climate change but also affecting how the world is pursuing this issue. However, studies that emphasize the conception of carbon markets as a neoliberalism’s consequence on climate policy. It implications are too constrained. This essay argues on neoliberalism’s role in managing climate change. The significant agendas of Climate change such as REDD+ and Carbon credits are also highlighted. Concentrating on countries like the United States or Australia, the model neoliberal state, it can be recognized that neoliberal states must delay to stimulate emissions reductions since system-wide limits of greenhouse gases are difficult to achieve (Bumpus et al.,2010,p.78)
Countries like the United States have established a series of alternative ways to track it. Neoliberalism promotes the idea of liberating choices to curb the issue of climate change effectively. The emphasis is given in three: sub-national regulation growth; executive authority usage; and specifically through the placement of a network of research infrastructure and propagating the growth of environmental technologies is sustained (Macneil and Paterson,2012, p. 234-238)
The theoretical framework for examining the politics of climate change on the foundation of governmentality does not limit the application of power but reinforces discipline, a liberating government, as alternative methods of state and control. Climate change is rendered a governable body is best explained in the background of a movement from biopower to the progressive liberal government. From the mid-1990s, climate change has been a notion, which is center of attention by the advanced liberal government. They take climate change as an economic subject that facilitates market-based solutions contributing to cost-effective technological explanations. (Oels,2005,p.193).
Forest plantations (under REDD) or carbon Neutrality, both fundamentals of climate change policy have been extensively exploited under neoliberalism. It has played a precarious role in the climate change debates and establishes a dominant element in its arrangement to limit concentrations of greenhouse gas under Kyoto Protocol, in order to regulate the climate(Newell et al.,2012,p.165).Along with that forest plantation projects have taken a toll under neoliberalism. The agenda of neoliberalism is withholding benefits which could have been reaped by planting trees to curb climate regime. While the win-win dialogue of ecological modernization has granted the addition of Kyoto Protocol sink projects, green governmentality dialogue has provided a critical civic environmentalism discourse(Backstrand and Lovbrand,2006,p.63)
Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), REDD+ has been emphasized as a performance-based tool through which both the state and non-state actors will be compensated for forest emissions reductions. The Cancun Agreement has paved a way towards a phased implementation plan for preventing deforestation. The first phase includes the making of national policies, actions, and capacity-building programs. It is followed by the second period; driven by result based activities(Bailey and Wilson,2009,p.2320). The final phase is staged on measuring, reporting and verifying results. The level of support and the developing country’s national capability and keenness to attain results, determines which phase it should start from. Neoliberalism has affected the execution of these plans with each nation busy in reaping maximum benefits yet limited performance-based incentives (Boykoff et al.,2009,p.27)
The evaluation process of REDD+ has also been identified but affected by the whole political turmoil. A National Forest Inventory (NFI) is one possible option for the Forest Monitoring system that REDD+ countries have, for improvement evaluation. Some states have their own existing workable NFI’s, whereas there are those countries which needed to develop their own before 2012. The authenticity and workability of these differ from state to country which may act as an obstacle to active practice. Rationally advocating the prime objective of UNFCCC in the context of REDD depends on the practical and adaptable legal instruments that will successfully measure the emission reduction and measure a country’s performance based on it(Newell and Paterson,2009,p.81).More regulations are required focusing on reference standards for developing nations, as they will determine the probable compensation a country would receive from REDD+ for a given level of activity. The effectiveness of REDD+ highly focuses on supervision of REDD+ revenues. The fairness of these taxes is questionable and has to be addressed(Mcafee and Shapiro,2010,p.583). Without the adequate benefit sharing, support from the majority stakeholders cannot be gained. Apprehensions should be addressed, and policymakers should resolve the problems of people involved from the top to grass root level. Carbon markets are merely flourishing and providing incentives for one kind of class. The industrial class who are solely leading the carbon market. Large corporations instead of opting for pollution control technologies, buy carbon credits for their excess pollution. Establishment of Carbon markets has further aggravated the carbon pollutions situation instead of resolving it. Carbon markets have granted property rights to the wealthy polluters who exceed their level of pollution and pay for it. Also, these markets have drawn attention away from the type of innovation, long-term investments and broad restructuring that is needed for a further reduction in carbon emissions on a larger scale(Ervine,2014,p.727).
Earlier Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) had evaded deforestation projects because of political and socio-economic reasons, even though it’s prime focus was the reduction of greenhouse gases.Fearing this would cause additional problems seeping in, LULUCF mitigation opportunities in developing countries were kept to address CDM afforestation and reforestation (A/R) projects.The expected benefits of REDD+ generated substantial support and garnered peoples interest; though the lack of arrangement of a global mechanism for REDD+ reaped disappointment. Though the initiative opened up a way forward for research and forest-related initiatives(McCarthy,2006,pp.88). Countries rich in forest areas already have formal forest-related initiatives, but lack of interest and finances hinder their enactment. Proper implementation schemes, as well as focus on these previously present initiatives will deliver more positive outcomes.The major obstacle REDD+ scheme faces is the penetration of corruption throughout this framework. It has been neglected by policy makers and hasn’t been a part of an debating sessions. Majority of developing countries having vast forest areas have a high level of corruption embedded in their systems. These countries have used forests for both socioeconomic and political gains. Still one can consider the REDD+ resolution in the Cancun Agreements is an efficient way for all developed and developing nations to come together and find ways to decrease the anthropogenic pressure on forests(Humphreys,2009,p.321). It focuses on the actions that should be taken to stop of deforestation and further emphasized the role of both developed and developing nations to reduce greenhouse emissions.10To develop a possible yet effective strategy for REDD+ is to educate REDD+ stakeholders. Also, it is important to analyze the evolution of these activities critically and comparatively analyze the past and present circumstances(McCarthy,2006,pp.89).
REDD+ remains a politically explosive issue, with both the state and non-state holders asking for their stake. The REDD+ projects require a huge amount of investment. Even after the initial expenditures, further finances are needed to evaluate the effective policies working in accordance with the proposed incentives. REDD projects are costly, as well as time-consuming hence effective operations should be performed for maximum gains. If we want a change, more work should be done by historical background, social and political aspects which addresses the local conditions and environment. Along with that, the carbon market setup is so complex that the general public has little idea about it to question its efficiency. As a result of not collaborating with general public will never resolve climate crisis issues(Blok,2012,p.65)
REDD+ has been working to stress on state responsibilities and encouraging them to balance the economic, social and environmental incentives needed to protect forests on a government scale. Some governments feel threatened under this framework majorly owing to the need for distribution of responsibilities.A clear weakening in the Ministry of forests power can be witnessed as they are regularly checked under this framework(McCarthy,2006,pp.88).
The idea of REDD+ calling for developed countries to fund developing nations for their activities financially; to lessen forest-sector carbon emissions, seems simple. It is applicability questionable. It can be seen that though there have been useful practices at some level yet majority international and national patrons are lagging behind or not efficiently working under this framework. Research is being done but is majorly theoretical; the focus should be more on practical solutions (McCarthy,2005,p.999)
To better articulate the idea behind REDD+ proper incentives and channelizing thoughts in the right direction is essential. Incentives for forest conservation should also focus on proposing alternative solutions to sustain local livelihoods based on forestry(Laurie and Bondi,2006,p.77).
Last 25 years has been subjugated by the neoliberal ideology, determining clarifications to emergent political, social and economic issues. Keeping that in mind, it is not shocking that emissions trading schemes initiated on the core doctrines of neoliberalism have developed as the dominant response to climate change especially by developed countries taking a neoliberal stance. There have been increasing encounters with the climate policy marketization, and carbon taxes are credited as alternative policy tools that are more expected to orient economic and social activity concerning carbon pollution modification. A carbon tax does not necessitate radical political or social transformation of the economy. Nevertheless, it does dwell on the state to regulate and govern explanations to climate change. This guarantees a test to the free market position of current neoliberal answers to climate change. (Lohmann,2010,p.81).
Having a net zero carbon footprint is defined as Carbon.Attaining net zero carbon emissions by sustaining an equilibrium in a measured quantity of carbon freed from emissions with an equal quantity sequestered or purchasing sufficient carbon credits to match the variance. It is used in the perspective of carbon dioxide discharging processes, related to transportation, industrialization, construction, etc. It can also refer to the release of carbon dioxide let out into the environment from fossil fuels burning. With renewable energy generating a similar quantity of beneficial energy, carbon dioxide emissions are compensated, or instead exhausting only renewable energy that doesn’t yield carbon dioxide (forming a post-carbon economy) the problem of climate change can be curbed as global warming will be curbed.(Nightingale,2005,p.603) .To make fossil fuel emissions carbon neutral, the carbon freed from the fossil fuel burning, must either be prohibited from flowing into the atmosphere, through carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) or extracted back from the atmosphere. These carbon dynamics has painted a more complicated picture of climate change which has affected all countries big and small (Lockie and Higgins,2007,p.9).
For many years, national economies have been directed by neoliberal deregulation policies. Neoliberalism has been catastrophic for people in most countries, setting an opposition of one race against the other, in fact, every individual focusing on his interests. There is also a growing global acknowledgment that we are in the middle of an unparalleled climate crisis. Prepared or not, that crisis is disturbing every country, every zone, and every person. It has serious effects, and until pivotal collective global act takes place, it will be disastrous. Neoliberal deregulation, by disassembling the source of public directing society to meet communal necessities, has also made it nearly unmanageable to aid global climate crisis. (Nel,2015,p.2298).
The two topics, neoliberalism and climate crisis failure, will express the fight for the benefits of poor and common people for the next era. Also, the need to fight climate change may give a chance to talk about the bigger issues of neoliberal deregulation.
At times it seems that by going back on neoliberalism, we can defend the rights of people worldwide and resolve climate change crisis (Hayter,2014,p.151).
The official political shifts within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) summarize fundamental governance practices for each stage.
International environmentalism as categorized by main progressions:
- The eminence of permissive principles of justice, where justice is well-defined as the coherent chase of sovereign self-centeredness between parties who are unequal.
- Marketization through market instruments, private sector commitment and supposedly ‘objective’ thoughts are regarded as the most real and effectual forms of governance
- Governance by exposure, in which the chief problems to sustainability are seen as ‘flawed information’ and burdensome regulatory organizations that constrain innovation; and mostly, in which multidimensional decision-making is moved from agreement to minilateralism (Taylor,2000,p.258).
Current UNFCCC regime has established neoliberal modifications in climate governance, minus resistance, in an arrangement which is unambiguously dissimilar to the earlier eras. There are considerable gaps in evenhandedness, transparency, and representation. While conservative opponents protest that serious consideration to humanmade climate change will harmfully influence economic growth, fundamental environmentalists oppose that modifying climate change will need considerable alteration of the capitalist structure, if not this system’s end entirely. Speaking about climate change has developed into a boom industry in its specific right, a foundation of significant growth in a range of areas (Boykoff et al.,2009,p.15).
Neoliberal capitalism triggers disasters. In the public dissertation, it is usually observed that environmentalism is seen as a neoliberalism counterforce or as a restraining power to capitalism. Embracing the global environmental discourse is frequently seen as divergent injustices shaped by the present capitalist system and the only substitute for accommodating the reasoning of the current neoliberal system. The global ecological cause, and mainly the climate change is to be seen as a weapon to use in a conceptual fight (Bailey and Wilson,2009,p.2341).
Since the development of modern environmental dialogue, some scholars have advocated the implicit penalties of global ecological apprehensions that are complicit with and reassuring of the neoliberal development systems of governance(Newell and Paterson,2009,p.31).
It is important to understand that the foundation for the neoliberal prospects of the ecological disaster, which was already shaped by the cognitive creation of global ‘environment’ and its dominant facets:
- Acceptance of natural resources and it’s weight in the current scenario.
- The limitations imposed by governing bodies
- The ongoing economic disparities.
Neoliberalism an impeccable beneficiary in an Environmental project, a perceptive tool for neoliberalism. While climate change uses ecological reasons to claim the need to manage global atmosphere, neoliberalism recommends economy as the only means of that safety and management (Ervine,2014,p.724).
Neoliberalism has turbocharged and dwelled into the idea of climate change, modifying the facets according to its principles and ideals.it. It tells you to feel guilty if you are in any way responsible for this environmental crisis, to feel guilt and embarrassment if you contribute to this climatic debt. It directly holds you accountable and makes you bear the weight of possible ecological collapse(Blok,2012,p.75).It cannot be denied that less consumption of resources and low-carbon substitutes, sustainable farming, zero-waste methods are individual choices which count but when the cost-effective, viable, environmental decisions are avail be for everyone, then only significant changes can be brought. If inexpensive mass transit isn’t accessible, people will travel through cars. When local organic food is too costly, they will opt for the fossil-fueled driven market. If inexpensive manufactured goods flow limitlessly, they will near buy environment-friendly stuff. This is neoliberalism’s con-job: to encourage us to talk about climate change but not through politics or rational thinking. Eco-consumerism may compensate your guiltiness. But it’s only mass actions that influence to change the course of the climate crisis. We need a mental break from neoliberalism, think like a community and collective responsibility rather than individuals (Humphreys,2009,p.321).
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