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Valuation Languages Along the Coal Chain From Colombia to the Netherlands and to Turkey

By Andrea Cardoso


Environmental goods and bads are accumulated and unequally distributed along the coal supply chain, producing environmental injustices where actors deployed values and representations of coal to either resist or legitimize its extraction and consumption. This paper analyzes those valuation languages along the coal chain and their relationships with the territory where coal is extracted and burned. The paper examines and compares the coal chains between Colombia-Netherlands and Colombia-Turkey, assessing the various dimensions of the ecological distribution conflicts. The coal chain is analyzed through different layers and scales. To identify the valuation languages along both coal chains, semi-structured interviews and secondary data analysis were conducted. Discourse analysis methodologies were used to determine the frequency and relevance of the valuation languages. Results show that multiple valuation languages appear, which are peculiar to each country and to the economic and political contexts in which the different stages of coal chain are embedded. Environmental justice actions taken along the coal chain with the focus on acknowledging these multiple valuation languages are also discussed. In conclusion, the analysis reveals that these actions depend on the willingness of social actors to give up or negotiate their valuation languages or on the power to impose them.



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Coal, Commodity chains, Valuation languages, Ecological distribution conflict, Environmental justice

How to cite

Cardoso A. “Valuation Languages Along the Coal Chain From Colombia to the Netherlands and to Turkey”. Ecological Economics. 2018, vol. 146, p. 44–59