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Carbon Trading

Carbon trading is the exchange of property rights and financial instruments based on greenhouse gas emissions. Larry Lohmann has framed the problem of climate change as one of an overflowing pollution dump caused by economic growth and material consumption unrestrained by social norms or formal regulation. Consumer culture is, therefore, at the heart of the greenhouse gas problem because it is the process most readily associated with rising levels of consumption. Carbon trading is a response to the environmental problems generated by consumer culture. Broadly, within carbon trading institutions, economic actors exchange financial instruments related to greenhouse gas output or reductions in emissions from “business as usual.” As such, polluting activities are to some extent governed by price and competition rather than explicitly political ...

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