Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
Nord, Joel (2014). Farming for Carbon Credits: The economic integration of greenhouse gases through smallholder agriculture in the Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project.
Geography, advanced level, master thesis for master exam in Globalization, environment and social change, 30 ECTS.
Supervisor: Anders Wästfelt
This MSc thesis analyzes a greenhouse gas (GHG) emission offsetting project implemented in smallholder agriculture. The project, which is the first of its kind, is called the Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project (KACP) and is located in western Kenya. The research question posed is: Does the carbon credit aspect of the KACP represent an integration of the economic externality of GHG emissions. The thesis analyses the KACP as a payment scheme for ecosystem services and applies a lens of neoliberal theory. The methods used are semi-structured interviews, participatory observation and transect walks. Data collection was done during field work at project sites in April and May 2014 and data sources include twenty interviews, eighteen analysed farms, participation in a KACP workshop and participation in a project related e-course organized by the World Bank. The results of the study showed that there are significant inconsistencies in the project that invalidates the KACP an economic integration of GHG emissions, likely resulting in false carbon credits.
Key words: Emission offsetting, carbon credits, payments for ecosystem services, integration of economic externalities, rational choice, carbon sequestration, Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project.