Exploring equity and sustainable development in the new carbon economy

TitleExploring equity and sustainable development in the new carbon economy
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsBrown, K, Corbera, E
JournalClimate Policy
Start PageS41

Ambitious claims have been made about the development benefits of market-based policy instruments for climate mitigation. We examine the implications of forest carbon projects for different aspects of equity and sustainable development. We apply a stakeholder multi-criteria assessment to explore the range of stakeholders, their roles, interests and perspectives, to a case study in Mexico. Two elements of equity, access to markets and forests, and legitimacy in decision-making and institutions, are discussed. Robust cross-scale institutional frameworks are necessary to ensure that objectives for equity and sustainable development are met and that already marginalised sectors of society are not excluded. These institutions are still developing and their establishment brings together many different stakeholders from government, private sector and civil society. However, the ability of the “new carbon economy” to provide real benefits for sustainable development may ultimately be constrained by the nature of the market itself.