Trade in “Dirty Air”: Carbon Crime and the Politics of Pollution

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Date(s) - 28 Feb 2013
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Room N402, Menzies Building 11, Monash University Clayton

Reece Walters, Professor Law, Queensland University of Technology

As the world’s globalised and industrialised economies continue to release records levels of carbon dioxide, new markets and opportunities are created for criminal enterprises through government initiatives to reduce emissions. Emerging criminal activities in carbon fraud are widespread and lucrative. The expansion of environmental law and regulatory arrangements in the past decade to deal with pollution has been significant. So have various endeavours inspired by the Kyoto Protocol, namely, carbon taxes and sinks, and renewable or ‘cleaner’ where ‘carbon is now tracked like any other commodity’. Numerous international attempts to regulate and enforce air emissions through permits and partnership models have proven ineffective and counterproductive. As a result, the ‘market’ has become the lynchpin for corporate compliance and international monitoring. The world’s biggest polluters, transnational corporations, have increasingly ventured into the largely unregulated voluntary carbon credit market to offset their emissions and or give their customers the opportunity to be ‘carbon neutral’. In this sense, ‘dirty air’ has become a commodity for global trade. This paper explores the political economy of carbon and the ways in which trading schemes have provided new opportunities for fraud and tax evasion.

Professor Reece Walters joined the QUT School of Justice in 2011. Prior to this he worked at The Open University in England, University of Stirling in Scotland, Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and LaTrobe University in Melbourne. He has undertaken various roles in research and managerial leadership, advocacy and strategic development.  Professor Walters’ research in eco crime and environmental justice; state violence and corporate crime has produced six books and over 100 papers and publications and earned him the Radzinowiz Prize in Criminology. 

Thursday 28th February, 1-2pm, Room N402 (4th Floor, Menzies Building, Monash University Clayton) 

RSVP to by Monday 26th February