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Farber, Ash, 2023. Bringing nuance back to the carbon offsetting debate : evidence of a transition, calls for a transformation. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



Climate change caused by the increase in anthropogenic emissions is currently increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather events globally (IPCC, 2022) which is having devastating impacts on humans and non-human living beings globally. Rapid and deep decarbonisation is required to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and ensure a safe and habitable planet for the future of humanity. This thesis investigates the phenomena of carbon offsetting, and how this is associated with corporate climate action alongside exploring different opinions around this theme and assessing how their opinions come into being.

A mixed methods approach is used to create and assess both quantitative and qualitative data, bringing in theories of bounded rationality, situated knowledge and critical realism to help unpick and understand qualitative data; while Chi squared tests were used to find statistically significant relationships between purchasing carbon credits and company behaviour.

It was found that companies that purchase carbon credits do the more ambitious or advantageous behaviour when compared with companies that do not purchase carbon credits in seven out of eight situations. This difference provides evidence that offsetting is not used instead of taking measures to reduce emissions. This is combined with results of interviews that show a diverse range of opinions about corporate decarbonisation; the practice of carbon offsetting; what is required to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and what can be considered as business as usual.

Main title:Bringing nuance back to the carbon offsetting debate
Subtitle:evidence of a transition, calls for a transformation
Authors:Farber, Ash
Supervisor:Engström, Linda and Rödl, Malte
Examiner:Grubbström, Ann
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2023
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:Carbon offsetting, corporate decarbonisation, opinion formation, climate change, situated knowledge, bounded rationality, critical realism
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Deposited On:30 Oct 2023 09:26
Metadata Last Modified:01 Nov 2023 02:00

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