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Title: Constructing an international market for carbon trading : an institutional perspective
Author: Knox-Hayes, Janelle
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2009
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Mitigating climate change requires the collaborative and international management of a range of socio-economic processes that produce greenhouse gas emissions. Governments in a number of regions are developing carbon markets to mitigate climate change by limiting the production of greenhouse gases. This thesis examines the construction of carbon markets in the United States and Europe to understand what role these markets play in mitigating climate change. Using a relational economic geography framework and institutional theory, I frame the markets into two components: 1) the regulatory structures which give the markets existence and bound their rules of operation, and 2) the financial and service components which operationalized the markets. Within these components, I investigate four specific facets of market development: complementarity, spacetime, design vs. path dependence and institutional development. The study is conducted through close dialogue and case studies of organization in London, New York and Chicago as well as interviews with policymakers in Washington D.C. Sacramento, and San Francisco. I find that the regulatory components of the market are built both by regulatory agencies and private organizations such as legal firms. Political path dependence constrains the development of the regulatory framework of the carbon markets. The financial service components are constructed in existing financial service centers such as London and New York by directly adopting expertise, products, services and infrastructure from other markets. With respect to the spacetime construction of markets, I find that carbon markets are being adapted to management in existing time zones, with a seamless transaction of activity between North America, Europe and Asia. However, the nature of spacetime within the markets is changing; the markets now manage non-spacetime. In sum, the carbon markets are constructed as a social institution which mitigates greenhouse gas production by communicating and widely disseminating the value of the absence of emissions.
Supervisor: Clark, Gordon Sponsor: Jack Kent Cooke Foundation ; National Science Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Geographic region ; Environment ; Climate systems and policy ; Finance ; Political economy of markets and states ; carbon markets ; climate policy ; institutional political economy