Pluralizing and problematizing carbon finance

Gavin Bridge, Harriet Bulkeley, Paul Langley, Bregje van Veelen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Growing emphasis on finance as key to decarbonization requires social science research that critically attends to the emergent and diverse forms taken by carbon finance. First, we pluralize research into carbon finance, building on existing work to identify four main forms: carbon markets; ecosystem services; natural capital investment; and, capital allocated to low-carbon enterprises and projects. Second, we propose that research should problematize the processes through which carbon is variously translated into financial value. Illustrated with reference to low-carbon investment in electricity generation, our agenda thereby extends from the difficulties of producing carbon-as-commodity to the uncertainties of constituting carbon-as-asset.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)724-742
Number of pages19
JournalProgress in Human Geography
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank participants at the Global Conference on Economic Geography in Cologne and the Green Finance workshop in Durham, editor Noel Castree, and three anonymous reviewers for their feedback and comments. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement no. 730053.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Human Geography

Free keywords

  • assetization
  • carbon markets
  • commodification
  • ecosystem services
  • low-carbon investment


Dive into the research topics of 'Pluralizing and problematizing carbon finance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this