The New Carbon Economy

The New Carbon Economy: Constitution, Governance, and Contestation

Edited by Peter Newell, Maxwell Boykoff, and Emily Boyd


January 2012

The New Carbon Economy provides a critical understanding of the carbon economy. It offers key insights into the constitution, governance and effects of the carbon economy, across a variety of geographical settings.

  • Examines different dimensions of the carbon economy from a range of disciplinary angles in a diversity of settings
  • Provides ways for researchers to subject claims of newness and uniqueness to critical scrutiny
  • Historicizes claims of the ‘newness’ of the carbon economy
  • Covers a range of geographical settings including Europe, the US and Central America


This book provides a critical understanding of the carbon economy and its central role in society’s response to climate change.

It brings together a range of disciplinary insights on the question of what might be new about the carbon economy in terms of the way it is constituted, the practices of governance it has generated and the effects it has given rise to in social, political and ecological terms. From local case studies of attempts to enrol forests in carbon markets, to attempts to create regional emissions trading schemes and global offset mechanisms, the book covers the full range of elements of the carbon economy.

The New Carbon Economy will be of interest to students, academics and activists alike, engaged with, interested in, or critical of, the ‘nature’ and politics of carbon markets as a response to the threat of climate change.