Pricing Carbon in Australia: Contestation, the State and Market Failure, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Pricing Carbon in Australia

Contestation, the State and Market Failure, 1st Edition

By Rebecca Pearse


156 pages | 17 B/W Illus.

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In the mid-2000s it seemed that the global carbon market would take off and spark the worldwide transition to a profitable low carbon economy. A decade on, the experiment in carbon trading is failing. Carbon market schemes have been plagued by problems and resistance to carbon pricing has come from the political Left and Right. In the Australian case, a national emissions trading scheme (ETS) was dismantled after a long, bitter public debate. The replacement ‘Direct Action Plan’ is also in disrepute.

Pricing Carbon in Australia examines the rise and fall of the ETS in Australia between 2007 and 2015, exploring the underlying contradictions of marketised climate policy in detail. Through this and other international examples, the book offers a critique of the political economy of marketised climate policy, exploring why the hopes for global carbon trading have been dashed. The Australian case is interpreted in light of a broader legitimation crisis as state strategies for (temporarily) displacing the climate crisis continue to fail. Importantly, in the wake of carbon market failure, alternative agendas for state action are emerging as campaigns for the retrenchment of fossil fuel assets and for just renewable energy transition continue transforming climate politics and policy as we know it.

This book is a valuable resource for practitioners and academics in the fields of environmental policy and politics and social movement studies.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Contestation and the political economy of carbon pricing
  3. Historical dimensions of the market turn
  4. Carbon pricing in practice
  5. Technocracy and the Copenhagen moment
  6. Conservative populism and carbon contradictions
  7. Beyond Paris, towards energy justice
  8. Conclusion

About the Author

Rebecca Pearse is a lecturer in the Department of Political Economy, University of Sydney, Australia.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Climate Change Research

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
NATURE / Ecology
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy