Call for Abstracts for a proposed session at the Institute of Australian Geographers’ Annual Conference in Hobart from 9-13 July 2019:


Experiments in Green Finance


Session Convenors: Dr Svenja Keele (University of Melbourne) and Dr Tom Baker (University of Auckland)


Experiments in ‘green finance’ are proliferating worldwide. From emissions trading schemes to catastrophe bonds, biodiversity offsets to payments for ecosystem services, green finance experiments attempt to redirect circuits of capital towards more socially and environmentally sustainable ends. Underpinned by new systems of abstraction and commensuration, and mediated by new technologies, these experiments are reconfiguring relations between government, business, communities and nature itself. Green financial instruments are gaining new impetus under the ‘Green Economy’, a (re-)emergent discourse promoting the use of technocratic rationalities and market-based mechanisms to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation and stimulate supposed win-win solutions to financial and ecological crises.


In response to ongoing green financial experimentation, geographers have started to examine how ‘green’ markets are brought into being (Berndt & Boeckler 2011, McAfee 2016, Bracking 2015, Knox-Hayes 2016), the ‘spatial mechanics’ of production and consumption associated with ‘green consumerism’ (Caprotti and Bailey 2014), how financial value is produced through the commodification of uncertain futures (Christophers 2018) and the proliferating ways in which nature is remade as a site for profitable enterprise (Castree & Christophers 2015, Sullivan 2013).  At the same time, the geographic literature includes accounts of where the commodification and financialisation of nature has failed (Dempsey 2014), the potential for green finance to achieve transformative and just outcomes (Ehresman & Okereke 2015, Ferguson 2015) and where communities have resisted or appropriated tools and ideas of the Green Economy to secure other benefits (Jackson and Palmer 2015).


This session seeks to extend the conversation by inviting papers examining the practices, outcomes and implications of green finance experiments. Recognising the plurality of approaches engaging with this issue, we invite contributions from economic, political, urban and cultural geographers. We welcome papers from postgraduate students.


Please email presentation titles and 250-word abstracts addressing the session’s themes to and by Tuesday 26 February 2019.


Berndt C & Boeckler M (2011) Geographies of markets: Materials, morals and monsters in motion. Progress in Human Geography 35, 559–567.

Bracking S (2015) Performativity in the Green Economy: how far does climate finance create a fictive economy? Third World Quarterly 36:2337-2357.

Caprotti F & Bailey I (2014) Making sense of the green economy. Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography 96:195-200.

Castree N & Christophers B (2015) Banking spatially on the future: Capital switching, infrastructure, and the ecological fix. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 105:378-386.

Christophers B (2018) Risking value theory in the political economy of finance and nature, Progress in Human Geography 42(3):330-349

Dempsey J (2016) Enterprising nature: Economics, markets, and finance in global biodiversity politics. Chichester, West Sussex, England : Wiley-Blackwell

Ehresman T G & Okereke O (2015) Environmental justice and conceptions of the green economy, International Environmental Agreements, 15:13-27

Ferguson P (2015) The green economy agenda: business as usual or transformational discourse? Environmental Politics 24:17-37

Jackson S & Palmer LR (2015) Reconceptualizing ecosystem services: Possibilities for cultivating and valuing the ethics and practices of care. Progress in Human Geography 39(2):122-145

Knox-Hayes JK (2016) The cultures of markets : the political economy of climate governance, Oxford : Oxford University Press

McAfee K (2016) Green economy and carbon markets for conservation and development: a critical view, International Environmental Agreements 16:333-353

Sullivan S (2013) Banking nature? The spectacular financialisation of environmental conservation. Antipode 45(1):198-217


Dr Svenja Keele | Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Resilient Cities

Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute | Melbourne School of Design

Level 3, Building 133, Masson Road

The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia

T: +61 3 8344 2812 E: W:


I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which I work, and pay my respects to the Elders, past and present.




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