Multilevel Analysis of Standard Governance: Voluntary Carbon Certification and the Peruvian Cookstove Sector

Friday, July 18, 2014: 5:30 PM
Room: F202
Oral Presentation
Arthur LAURENT , Sciences-Po Paris, France
Carbon markets are often seen as one of the best success in environmental markets yet they are also subject to many criticism. On the margin of the regulatory market, the voluntary market has developed under which certain standards set claimed ambitious criteria for sustainable development. Such standards govern a commodity of a new kind: carbon credits. The standards have ambiguous relations with the state and put at stake the notion of non-state governance. As such, they question the ability to govern sustainability from the private sector.

In my PhD, I analyze the case of a carbon certification programme for improved cookstoves implemented since 2008 in Peru. The standard used is the Gold Standard carbon and sustainable development certification framework. The approach is pluri-disciplinary and accounts for the impact of projects on indigenous communities, the making of and architecture of the chain of actors under the voluntary carbon market and the political economy of carbon offsets.

For this presentation I will look at the capacity for a private led initiative to engage with the state and whether any complementarity, crossover or parallelism can be drawn. The way the initiative led is implemented by a private company, claiming a social business orientation, interrogates the capacity to reach further collective outcomes than the mere interest of the private sector. This consideration will be informed with results of three consecutive verifications for three project packages meaning more than a dozen projects from either public of private institutions. Such an interesting amount of data will enable comparison. Rather than considering the standard as a mere global initiative with local manifestations, this research looks at the national context for informing how standards influence at meso level.