Sustainable governance in voluntary forest carbon standards




Smith, Jennifer Lee-Ann

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This thesis explores the influence of governance arrangements on sustainability commitments contained within voluntary forest carbon standards. This exploration is achieved through the application of a two-stage governance and sustainability analysis, which is an amalgamation of analytical tools originating in the “new governance” literature and the sustainability assessment literature. First, each voluntary forest carbon standard is examined in terms of its institutional, political and regulatory dimensions, using a framework adopted from the new governance literature. Second, the sustainability commitments contained within each of the voluntary forest carbon standards are assessed comparatively, using criteria adopted from the sustainability assessment literature. Following this, the results of the two-stage analysis are used to consider and discuss the relationship between governance and sustainability. The voluntary forest carbon standards reviewed in this analysis are the Verified Carbon Standard, the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard, Plan Vivo and CarbonFix.



environmental law, carbon market, carbon standard, climate change, forests, governance, sustainability