Article | Valuation Studies | The Conditional Sink: Counterfactual Display in the Valuation of a Carbon Offsetting Reforestation Project





Title:
The Conditional Sink: Counterfactual Display in the Valuation of a Carbon Offsetting Reforestation Project
Author:
Véra Ehrenstein: Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation, Mines ParisTech, France Fabian Muniesa: Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation, Mines ParisTech, France
DOI:
10.3384/vs.2001-5992.1312161
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Abstract:
This paper examines counterfactual display in the valuation of carbon offsetting projects. Considered a legitimate way to encourage climate change mitigation, such projects rely on the establishment of procedures for the prospective assessment of their capacity to become carbon sinks. This requires imagining possible worlds and assessing their plausibility. The world inhabited by the project is articulated through conditional formulation and subjected to what we call “counterfactual display”: the production and circulation of documents that demonstrate and con!gure the counterfactual valuation. We present a case study on one carbon offsetting reforestation project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We analyse the construction of the scene that allows the “What would have happened” question to make sense and become actionable. We highlight the operations of calculative framing that this requires, the reality constraints it relies upon, and the entrepreneurial conduct it stimulates.
Keywords:
Carbon offsetting; reforestation; Democratic Republic of Congo; valuation; counterfactuals
Year:
2013
Volume:
1
Issue:
2
Pages:
161-188
No. of pages:
28
Publication type:
Article
Published:
2013-11-27

Volume 1, Issue: 2, Article 4, 2013

Author:
Véra Ehrenstein, Fabian Muniesa
Title:
The Conditional Sink: Counterfactual Display in the Valuation of a Carbon Offsetting Reforestation Project:
DOI:
10.3384/vs.2001-5992.1312161
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Volume 1, Issue: 2, Article 4, 2013

Author:
Véra Ehrenstein, Fabian Muniesa
Title:
The Conditional Sink: Counterfactual Display in the Valuation of a Carbon Offsetting Reforestation Project:
DOI:
10.3384/vs.2001-5992.1312161
Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
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  • Adrian Nel (2017). Contested carbon: Carbon forestry as a speculatively virtual, falteringly material and disputed territorial assemblage. Geoforum, 81: 144. DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.03.007
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