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Rights to landscape and the global moral economy of carbon

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2011
JournalLandscape research
Journal number4
Volume36
Number of pages16
Pages455-470
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Energy policy is an increasingly influential driver for landscape change in the Global North and in rapidly industrializing nations. The renewable energy industry and the large utilities installing wind farms are increasingly powerful actors in the global economy, and their activities are giving rise to a growing number of energy-landscape conflicts. Dependent on its characteristics with regards to the local landscape and the energy system it is part of, a renewable energy project can be portrayed as representing either development or conservation, and representing either globalization or localization. By interrogating landscape as a right, and carbon as a commodity, this paper reveals a number of tensions between abstract, aggregate and top-down narratives that are typical of a globalist discourse, and more localized, contextualized and individuated concerns. We draw attention to examples of reconciliation through customized entrepreneurial activities which manage to make sense of landscape, energy and climate issues at the local level, and which can be enacted and presented through both a globalist and a local narrative. These developments illustrate that hybridity of the local and the global is yielding differential rural energy geographies, consistent with Woods's (2007) concept of global countryside.