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After Copenhagen: Bringing Personal Carbon Trading Home

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Chapter Summary

This chapter draws on Nikolas Rose's reading of Foucault for insights into the modern construction of 'citizen' and 'consumer', and, in particular, Rose's discussion on the new specification of the subject of government to propose that the concept of Personal Carbon Trading (PCT) sits at the apex of a number of debates of interest to the environmental policy community, including climate change, sustainable consumption and individual freedom in an era of environmental constraints. Rose notes that an enhancement of the powers of the 'client as consumer' has specified the subjects of rule in a new way. PCT systems represent the holy grail of sustainable consumption, which has been limited-in so far as implementation is concerned-to the committed niche groups of ethical consumers. The challenge of consumerism and sustainable consumption in the context of climate change is inherently a challenge to contemporary understandings of individual freedom.

Keywords:consumerism; environmental policy; Nikolas Rose; Personal Carbon Trading (PCT)



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