chapter  1
16 Pages

Introduction

ByRebecca Pearse

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book focuses on the political economy literature, which investigates the ascendance and operation of carbon markets with regard to the capitalist state's role in accumulation. It provides a brief overview and critique of the economic rationale for carbon markets. The book introduces the context and historical origins of emissions trading as a crisis displacement strategy for the Australian state, which creates new legitimation issues. It presents the distributive decisions underpinning the emissions trading scheme (ETS) and replacement Direct Action Plan, and highlights the deep reluctance of the Australian state to distribute and enforce carbon rights in ways that could significantly shift emissions-intensive accumulation. The book provides the political Right's efforts to de-legitimise the ETS by leveraging the contradictions of marketised climate policy. It addresses the directions of environmental movement mobilisations in the wake of carbon market failure.