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PhD Research: Post-Democratic Carbon Accounting: Creating the Climate for Disagreement

Joe Blakey

Postgraduate Student

Joe holds both a MSc in Geographical Science and a BA in Human Geography from The University of Manchester

Carbon footprints can be accounted in numerous ways, each corresponding to a different responsibility for decarbonisation. However, since 1995, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has defined the principle means by which governments of all scales account for carbon. Whilst global emissions are on the rise, this ‘production-based’ methodology has enabled some notionally developed nations to declare that their emissions have stabilised. Conversely, carbon accountants pursuing alternative methodologies have highlighted the problematic nature of western consumption. Responding to the uneven enrolment of carbon footprinting methodologies, my research investigates the relation between carbon accounting and politics.

I seek to expand critical understandings of accountancy’s social role through an appreciation of the ‘political difference’, drawing upon the work of Jacques Rancière. This research draws upon participatory research completing a carbon footprint inventory for the City of Manchester using the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC) along with interviews with community groups, activists, organisations and policy-makers in the UK context.

Research Interests

• The Political

• Post-Democracy

• Political Ecology

• Carbon Accounting

• Smart Cities    

Supervisors: Alison Browne and Erik Swyngedouw

Selected documents