A visionary article about certifications from forty years ago

Some of us, scholars studying certifications, like to think that our field is very new. Yet, Taylor was writing about certifications a good forty years before we started thinking about them…

Shortest summary of my PhD—certificatory competition in voluntary carbon markets

The shortest summary of my PhD is: it’s hard to be a voluntary carbon offset certification! Check out the figure below. It shows the total value generated by the most prominent certifications in voluntary carbon markets (between the launch of the first fully-fledged certification and the beginning of the implementation of the Paris Agreement). ‘Blue’,…

A puzzling question about free markets and regulation

Carbon markets date back to the 1960s. Ronald Coase applied his idea of a pricing mechanism for the allocation of radio frequencies to questions of public harms such as environmental damages. The idea then saw improvement in the context of carbon markets in the 1960s/1970s. So, the mechanisms upon which modern carbon markets build are…

Carbon markets—simple yet not simple

In many ways, carbon trading and carbon markets are not as complicated as many believe. Explaining what carbon trading is, in fact, is surprisingly simple: Carbon offset certifications are also easy to explain: So, at the foundation, carbon trading/markets are not complicated. &&& What is complex/complicated is the governance of carbon markets. As a result…

Certificatory organisations you can’t avoid

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) The quality-oriented ISO 9000 is probably the most well-spread certificatory standards on the planet, but do you know how many more standards ISO has? A lot more! More than 21607! That’s right! Twenty-one THOUSAND standards, being used in ~163 countries. That’s a lot! The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)…

Is the market democratising access to hydrogen technologies?

This article deserves a read: Costa Rica soon to unveil its first hydrogen-powered bus. The article summarises an announcement by Ad Astra Rocket, a Costa Rican company, about the unveiling of the first hydrogen-powered bus in Costa Rica. Two fast considerations are noteworthy. Participating in the development of hydrogen technologies is typically thought of as…

The power of being “cool”

Start this post by reading this article: if eating is “cool” then farming must be “cool” too. It is about agriculture. It notes that farmers are not perceived as ‘cool’: “most youths’ perception of agriculture and agribusiness reflects the image of a dirty, exhausted poor farmer carrying a rusty hoe on puffy, tired shoulders somewhere…

Not all standards are certifications, enter Rockefeller

Some standard-making organisations are certifications. However, not all standards come from certifications. Standardisation is nothing else than homogenisation of processes against a ‘golden mean’, be it by one or many actors, be it formally or informally. Consider the case of John D. Rockefeller, whose oil empire changed the face of the world back in the…

Source. CL.Baker - https://flic.kr/p/AcnSYn Unmodified. License. CC BY-ND 2.0 - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/.

Curious historical secrets about oil

Oil is, nowadays, the dominant fuel in society. Seen at once as friend or foe by different groups. The centre point of global energy politics. We thus wonder about its future. But! Do we stop to ask about its past? Many rather interesting lessons can be learnt.

Magdalena Oil Industry Open Air Museum in Gorlice, Poland. Image credits: Pawel (http://flic.kr/p/nkyyD1), CC BY 2.0.

How oil conquered the ancient world—policy implications

Ask Google about the discovery of oil. It will tell you oil was discovered in 1859 in northern Pennsylvania. This is not exactly true. 1859 marked the beginning of the modern history of oil, but the world had flirted with oil for about 4000 years. Much can be learned from this torrid romance. Oil before our time…