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Politics of carbon sinks. Knowledge, institutions, and shifting understandings of the environment. 
Laure Manach (CNRS)
Stephanie Barral (INRAE)
Robin Leclerc (INRAE)
Helene Guillemot
Antoine Doré
Celine Granjou (Inrae (University of Grenoble-Alps))
Leo Magnin (CNRS)
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Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

This panel explores the promotion of environmental compartments as carbon sinks and unpack the politics of knowledge at play when they are recast as major players in the global carbon cycle. Papers may explore agricultural soils, forests, wetlands and marine ecosystems, and other environments.

Long Abstract:

With the Paris Agreement and the adoption of carbon neutrality commitments, some environmental compartments, including forests and soils, are increasingly viewed as global stocks of carbon that we need to measure, map, model, control and optimize, to achieve a ‘net’ zero carbon balance in the atmosphere. This open panel explores the rising promotion of these environmental compartments as carbon sinks and unpacks the politics of knowledge at play when they are recast as major players in the global carbon cycle. While scholarship interested in the politics of carbon sinks has often centered on forests, we are especially keen to address lesser-known ecosystems, such as soils and oceans.

Questions include:

1 - What does it take to produce knowledge on carbon stocks and fluxes between soils, forests, vegetation and the atmosphere? How are carbon stocks and fluxes known, measured, monitored and assessed? How does the rising interest in carbon reconfigure research communities, political agendas and market infrastructures?

2 - How does carbon sink knowledge translate into public organizations, policies, programs and instruments aiming to manage and increase carbon stocks for various ends? What promises does it entail for environmental policies?

3 - How does the politics of knowledge of carbon sinks reconfigure the ways in which we come to know and manage various environments, their micro and macro-biota and the human activities and livelihoods within them?

Papers may be located in science and technology studies as well as anthropology, sociology, geography, political science, history, etc. and address some of the above questions concerning agricultural soils, forests, wetlands, oceans and marine ecosystems, and other environmental compartments.

Accepted papers:

Session 1
Session 2