Laurent, Arthur

Oxford University/Sciences-Po

I am a PhDc at Sciences-Po Paris in the CERI (Centre d’Etudes et Recherches Internationales). My research interests are on global governance of climate change, the role of non-state governance and in particular third-party certification. I am also interested in international development discourses and practices and the growing importance of social businesses. Finally, I am interested in how the social and cultural dimensions are considered in these phenomena and in particular how local (emic) matrices of analysis can be used to measure impact. The approach is framed in political science but mobilizes anthropology and economics and thus can be considered as pluri-disciplinary.    

In my research, I am drawing on my experience as a co-founder of a firm that acts as a carbon project developer supporting stoves projects implemented by NGOs and social-businesses. The firm has been the first company to ever register a Gold Standard PoA (Programme of Activities) dedicated to certifying improved cookstoves diffusion projects in Latin America. This certification based on measure green-house gases emission reductions enables to sell carbon credits and thus funds the projects. The firm supports over 8 institutions in developing access to clean cooking solutions for more than 150 000 families.

In my PhD thesis I study the voluntary carbon market through a case-study on improved cookstoves projects in Perú. The thesis first describes the way projects are implemented on the ground, how people receive it and react and how carbon funding influences this initial set of practices. Second, in a sort of ethnography of the firm, I describe the firm's creation, the way it designed the project and it’s progressive implementation. Then, I explain the creation of the voluntary carbon market and how it came to include stove projects for specific carbon credits sold to firms and citizens.

The case study shows how a third party certification scheme connects citizens and firms on the demand side and Peruvian peasants on the supply side through several intermediaries. It shows non-state actors defining norms that design a new environmental commodity market.

Research Interests: 
Global governance of climate change, third-party certification, international development discourses and practices, social businesses, global governance of climate change, role of non-state governance, third-party certification, international development discourses and practices and the growing importance of social businesses