NOT SEEING THE FOREST FOR
THE CARBON IN THE TREES ?
(ITC/U Twente)

(ITC/U Twente)

(IISD)

The role of fighting tropical d...
WHAT IS REDD+ ?
Reducing emissions from
deforestation and degradation and
„the conservation, sustainable
management of for...
WHAT IS REDD+ ?

(Conservation International)
WHAT IS REDD+ ?

Estimating the Opportunity
Costs of REDD+
A training manual

opportunity cost
payments
tisation
mone

car...
RESEARCH INTERESTS
How can the massive attention and broad support for
REDD+ be explained in light of the marginalised and...
THESIS
1.

The Third Side of the Coin: Hegemony and
governmentality in global climate politics

2.

From Pariah to Messiah...
DISCOURSE THEORY
Discour se The

or y

Laclau

Hegemony &
Mouffe

oucault
F

rnmentality
gove
DISCOURSE THEORY ?
DISCOURSE THEORY ?
wrath of god

bad land planning
result of climate change
DISCOURSE THEORY

power

Laclau

Hegemony & Discourse Theory

Mouffe

Foucault

governmentality

hegemony

government
rati...
THE BROAD SUPPORT FOR REDD+
REDD+ = hegemonic project
chain of equivalence

REDD+ = floating signifier
d benefits

REDD+ = HEGEMONIC PROJECT

D2
(UN-RED

011)
(UN-REDD

(UN-REDD 2011

)

2011)
d benefits

REDD+ = HEGEMONIC PROJECT

‘Immediate action on REDD+ can catalyze accelerated
national development in additio...
HEGEMONY:
CHAINS OF EQUIVALENCE
HEGEMONY:
CHAINS OF EQUIVALENCE

different demands
HEGEMONY:
CHAINS OF EQUIVALENCE

different demands
HEGEMONY:
CHAINS OF EQUIVALENCE

different demands
HEGEMONY:
CHAINS OF EQUIVALENCE

constitutive outside

different demands
HEGEMONY:
CHAINS OF EQUIVALENCE
antagonism
constitutive outside

different demands
HEGEMONY:
CHAINS OF EQUIVALENCE
antagonism
constitutive outside

empty signifier
REDD+‘S CHAIN OF EQUIVALENCE
...

biodiversity
loss

=

climate
change

= deforestation =

poverty

...

antagonism

REDD+...
From Pariah to Messiah

95

‘CO-BENEFITS‘ OF REDD+

Figure 4: (Co-)Benefits provided through REDD+11

poverty

human well-b...
REDD+ = FLOATING SIGNIFIER

=

=

REDD+
fund-based

market based

‘flooded carbon markets‘

‘funding gap‘

‘risky‘

‘unreli...
GOVERNING THROUGH REDD+

(WRI 2008)
MORE THAN GOVERNING
THROUGH MARKETS
‘The Tapuia, a fictional indigenous group based on a real tribe, lives on a legally
pro...
MORE THAN GOVERNING
THROUGH MARKETS

IWGIA/AIPP
MORE THAN GOVERNING
THROUGH MARKETS

governing
through markets

IWGIA/AIPP
MORE THAN GOVERNING
THROUGH MARKETS

governing
through markets

IWGIA/AIPP
MORE THAN GOVERNING
THROUGH MARKETS
carbon panopticon
governing
through markets
sovereign power

IWGIA/AIPP
MAKING CARBON CREDITS

(IO 9)

(PBS)
MAKING CARBON CREDITS
baseline

(IO 9)

(PBS)
(greenbiz.com)
FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY

forest
FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY
site for commercial
wood exploitation

forest
FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY
site for commercial
wood exploitation

forest
biodiversity
hotspot
FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY
site for commercial
wood exploitation

forest
biodiversity
hotspot

massive gene pool
FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY
site for commercial
wood exploitation

sacred place

forest
biodiversity
hotspot

massive g...
FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY
livelihood

sacred place

site for commercial
wood exploitation

forest
biodiversity
hotspo...
FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY
livelihood
water reservoir

sacred place

site for commercial
wood exploitation

forest
bio...
FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY
livelihood
water reservoir

sacred place

forest
biodiversity
hotspot

site for commercial
...
FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY
livelihood
water reservoir

sacred place

forest
biodiversity
hotspot

site for commercial
...
FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY
livelihood
water reservoir

sacred place

forest

site for commercial
wood exploitation

ca...
Forest‘s Field of Discursivity

forest
Forest‘s Field of Discursivity

forest

carbon sink

Emissions Reductions
Forest‘s Field of Discursivity

forest

carbon sink

tons of CO2eq
Forest‘s Field of Discursivity
coal fired power
plant in the UK

forest

carbon sink

tons of CO2eq
Forest‘s Field of Discursivity
coal fired power
plant in the UK

forest

carbon sink

tons of CO2eq

blast furnace
in Germa...
Forest‘s Field of Discursivity
coal fired power
plant in the UK

wind farm in
China

forest

carbon sink

tons of CO2eq

bl...
Forest‘s Field of Discursivity
coal fired power
plant in the UK
cement plant in
India
wind farm in
China

forest

carbon si...
Carbonification of Forests
coal fired power
plant in the UK
cement plant in
India
wind farm in
China

forest

carbon sink

t...
WANT TO KNOW MORE ?

Methmann, C., Rothe, D. and Stephan, B. (eds),
2013, Interpretive Approaches to Global Climate
Govern...
THANK YOU
benjamin.stephan@uni-hamburg.de
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Not seeing the forest for the carbon in the trees

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This is a presentation of some of the results of my PhD project. I presented it in September 2013 to the Environmental Politics Research Group at Lund University, Sweden.

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Not seeing the forest for the carbon in the trees

  1. 1. NOT SEEING THE FOREST FOR THE CARBON IN THE TREES ? (ITC/U Twente) (ITC/U Twente) (IISD) The role of fighting tropical deforestation in global climate governance Benjamin Stephan (IO 9)
  2. 2. WHAT IS REDD+ ? Reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation and „the conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks“ (UNFCCC 2010, 1/CP16) (Conservation International)
  3. 3. WHAT IS REDD+ ? (Conservation International)
  4. 4. WHAT IS REDD+ ? Estimating the Opportunity Costs of REDD+ A training manual opportunity cost payments tisation mone carbon m (flickr: B ar kets aron V isuals)
  5. 5. RESEARCH INTERESTS How can the massive attention and broad support for REDD+ be explained in light of the marginalised and controversial role deforestation had during earlier phases of international climate negotiations ? How is deforestation, and together with it the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, being made governable through REDD+ ? How is avoided deforestation transformed into carbon credits ?
  6. 6. THESIS 1. The Third Side of the Coin: Hegemony and governmentality in global climate politics 2. From Pariah to Messiah: Avoiding deforestation in international climate governance 3. 4. 5. Governing the Forest Frontier Bringing Discourse to the Market How to trade „not cutting down trees“
  7. 7. DISCOURSE THEORY Discour se The or y Laclau Hegemony & Mouffe oucault F rnmentality gove
  8. 8. DISCOURSE THEORY ?
  9. 9. DISCOURSE THEORY ? wrath of god bad land planning result of climate change
  10. 10. DISCOURSE THEORY power Laclau Hegemony & Discourse Theory Mouffe Foucault governmentality hegemony government rationality the political
  11. 11. THE BROAD SUPPORT FOR REDD+ REDD+ = hegemonic project chain of equivalence REDD+ = floating signifier
  12. 12. d benefits REDD+ = HEGEMONIC PROJECT D2 (UN-RED 011) (UN-REDD (UN-REDD 2011 ) 2011)
  13. 13. d benefits REDD+ = HEGEMONIC PROJECT ‘Immediate action on REDD+ can catalyze accelerated national development in addition to curbing carbon emissions. Healthy forests sustain biodiversity and ecosystem services, ensuring clean water, productive soils, and protection against floods and droughts — helping countries adapt to climate change, food security and generally improving the wellbeing of people.‘ (UN-REDD 2010) D2 (UN-RED 011) (UN-REDD (UN-REDD 2011 ) 2011)
  14. 14. HEGEMONY: CHAINS OF EQUIVALENCE
  15. 15. HEGEMONY: CHAINS OF EQUIVALENCE different demands
  16. 16. HEGEMONY: CHAINS OF EQUIVALENCE different demands
  17. 17. HEGEMONY: CHAINS OF EQUIVALENCE different demands
  18. 18. HEGEMONY: CHAINS OF EQUIVALENCE constitutive outside different demands
  19. 19. HEGEMONY: CHAINS OF EQUIVALENCE antagonism constitutive outside different demands
  20. 20. HEGEMONY: CHAINS OF EQUIVALENCE antagonism constitutive outside empty signifier
  21. 21. REDD+‘S CHAIN OF EQUIVALENCE ... biodiversity loss = climate change = deforestation = poverty ... antagonism REDD+ ... biodiversity protection = reducing emissions from deforestation = poverty alleviation sustainable development = human well-being = ...
  22. 22. From Pariah to Messiah 95 ‘CO-BENEFITS‘ OF REDD+ Figure 4: (Co-)Benefits provided through REDD+11 poverty human well-being provision of reduction livelihoods fire wood protection of biodiversity air quality water regulation sustainable education resilience to medicine survial social cohesion clarification of health food (security) development genetic ressources protection of habitat jobs energy land tenure pollination climate change national security culture & tradition indigenous peoples livelihoods rights
  23. 23. REDD+ = FLOATING SIGNIFIER = = REDD+ fund-based market based ‘flooded carbon markets‘ ‘funding gap‘ ‘risky‘ ‘unreliable‘
  24. 24. GOVERNING THROUGH REDD+ (WRI 2008)
  25. 25. MORE THAN GOVERNING THROUGH MARKETS ‘The Tapuia, a fictional indigenous group based on a real tribe, lives on a legally protected reserve [in the Amazon]... the Tapuia have rights to REDD[+] credits for up to 100,000 tons of CO2 per year, depending both on how successful they are at keeping their reserve intact and on Brazil’s overall performance in curbing deforestation. After their project is certified by the Amazon Fund, the Space Research Agency monitors changes in land cover on Tapuia lands on behalf of the tribe... men from the Tapuia tribe patrolling the borders of their reserve find the tracks of a logger’s truck... Using their legal authority to control their reserve, the Tapuia radio the GPS coordinates of the logger’s trail to government agents who arrest the loggers, confiscate their equipment, and close the mill that had been pro- cessing the illegally harvested wood. The pickup truck, fuel, GPS, and radio used by the Tapuia tribesmen are all paid for by the Tapuia REDD[+] project, which is certified under the Amazon Fund REDD[+] program, and paid for by investors...‘ (EDF 2009)
  26. 26. MORE THAN GOVERNING THROUGH MARKETS IWGIA/AIPP
  27. 27. MORE THAN GOVERNING THROUGH MARKETS governing through markets IWGIA/AIPP
  28. 28. MORE THAN GOVERNING THROUGH MARKETS governing through markets IWGIA/AIPP
  29. 29. MORE THAN GOVERNING THROUGH MARKETS carbon panopticon governing through markets sovereign power IWGIA/AIPP
  30. 30. MAKING CARBON CREDITS (IO 9) (PBS)
  31. 31. MAKING CARBON CREDITS baseline (IO 9) (PBS) (greenbiz.com)
  32. 32. FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY forest
  33. 33. FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY site for commercial wood exploitation forest
  34. 34. FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY site for commercial wood exploitation forest biodiversity hotspot
  35. 35. FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY site for commercial wood exploitation forest biodiversity hotspot massive gene pool
  36. 36. FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY site for commercial wood exploitation sacred place forest biodiversity hotspot massive gene pool
  37. 37. FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY livelihood sacred place site for commercial wood exploitation forest biodiversity hotspot massive gene pool
  38. 38. FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY livelihood water reservoir sacred place site for commercial wood exploitation forest biodiversity hotspot massive gene pool
  39. 39. FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY livelihood water reservoir sacred place forest biodiversity hotspot site for commercial wood exploitation carbon sink massive gene pool
  40. 40. FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY livelihood water reservoir sacred place forest biodiversity hotspot site for commercial wood exploitation carbon sink massive gene pool
  41. 41. FOREST‘S FIELD OF DISCURSIVITY livelihood water reservoir sacred place forest site for commercial wood exploitation carbon sink biodiversity hotspot massive gene pool
  42. 42. Forest‘s Field of Discursivity forest
  43. 43. Forest‘s Field of Discursivity forest carbon sink Emissions Reductions
  44. 44. Forest‘s Field of Discursivity forest carbon sink tons of CO2eq
  45. 45. Forest‘s Field of Discursivity coal fired power plant in the UK forest carbon sink tons of CO2eq
  46. 46. Forest‘s Field of Discursivity coal fired power plant in the UK forest carbon sink tons of CO2eq blast furnace in Germany
  47. 47. Forest‘s Field of Discursivity coal fired power plant in the UK wind farm in China forest carbon sink tons of CO2eq blast furnace in Germany
  48. 48. Forest‘s Field of Discursivity coal fired power plant in the UK cement plant in India wind farm in China forest carbon sink tons of CO2eq blast furnace in Germany
  49. 49. Carbonification of Forests coal fired power plant in the UK cement plant in India wind farm in China forest carbon sink tons of CO2eq blast furnace in Germany
  50. 50. WANT TO KNOW MORE ? Methmann, C., Rothe, D. and Stephan, B. (eds), 2013, Interpretive Approaches to Global Climate Governance: Deconstructing the Greenhouse. London: Routledge
  51. 51. THANK YOU benjamin.stephan@uni-hamburg.de

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