The Carbon Calculation

Global Climate Policy, Forests, and Transnational Governance in Brazil and Mozambique

Hardcover ($65.00), Ebook ($65.00) Buy
The Carbon Calculation examines how climate science, the policy world, and neoliberalism have mutually informed each other to define the problem of climate change as one of “market failure”—precluding alternatives to market-based solutions.

Focusing on REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), the book demonstrates how industrialized countries are able to maintain their socioeconomic models largely unaltered while claiming to address global warming using forests in the Global South to offset their pollution. By examining the creation and implementation of REDD+ historically and ethnographically, the book traces the social life of this mechanism as it travels across a complex network spanning several interacting levels: international, national, and local. Through cases in the Brazilian state of Acre and the Zambézia province in Mozambique, the author demonstrates how global climate policy has created new opportunities and rationales for unprecedented levels of intervention in the Global South—all under the guise of saving the planet.

The Carbon Calculation critically highlights the ways in which politics has reinforced a scientific focus on one possible solution to the problem of climate change—namely those that largely absolve the industrialized world from undertaking politically painful transformations in its own economic model.
“Through building her analysis on archival material, interviews, and ethnographic fieldwork in primarily Mozambique and Brazil (but also Washington and other global hotspots for such politics), the author convincingly details both the emergence of REDD+ and how it is related to various changes to what she calls the epistemic community of climate change research but also how it is intrinsic to highly charged neoliberal forms of politics which are, paradoxically, effecting highly depoliticizing forms of governance.”—Bjørn Enge Bertelsen, author of Violent Becomings: State Formation, Sociality, and Power in Mozambique
The Carbon Calculation
328 Pages 6 x 9
Published: March 2023Hardcover ISBN: 9780816546633
Published: March 2023Ebook ISBN: 9780816546640

For Authors

The University of Arizona Press publishes the work of leading scholars from around the globe. Learn more about submitting a proposal, preparing your final manuscript, and publication.



The University of Arizona Press is proud to share our books with readers, booksellers, media, librarians, scholars, and instructors. Join our email Newsletter. Request reprint licenses, information on subsidiary rights and translations, accessibility files, review copies, and desk and exam copies.


Support the Press

Support a premier publisher of academic, regional, and literary works. We are committed to sharing past, present, and future works that reflect the special strengths of the University of Arizona and support its land-grant mission.