Outsourcing climate breakdown

How rich nations get away with it

By Laurie Parsons

Outsourcing climate breakdown

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-6918-1
  • Pages: 240
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £16.99
  • Published Date: May 2023
  • BIC Category: SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography, Humanities / Colonialism & imperialism, Manufacturing Industries, Climate change, Human Geography, Geography, Climate change, SCIENCE / Global Warming & Climate Change, BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Logistics & Supply Chain


Climate change is devastating the planet, and globalisation is hiding it. This book opens our eyes.

Around the world, leading economies are announcing significant progress on climate change. World leaders are queuing up to proclaim their commitment to tackling the climate crisis, pointing to data that shows the progress they have made. Yet the atmosphere is still warming at a record rate, with devastating effects on poverty and precarity in the world's most vulnerable communities.

Are we being deceived?

Outsourcing climate breakdown explores the murky practices of exporting a country's environmental impact. A world in which corporations and countries are allowed to maintain a clean, green image while landfills in the world's poorest countries continue to expand and droughts and floods intensify under the auspices of globalisation, deregulation and economic growth.

Taking a wide-ranging, culturally engaged approach to the topic, the book shows how this is not only a technical problem, but a problem of cultural and political systems and structures - from nationalism to economic logic - deeply embedded in our society.


1. Out of sight, out of mind
2. Living globalisation: an environmental history
3. But what can we do about this? The limits of consumer power
4. Cold War in the climate compact
5. All in it together? Climate change and the individual
6. Carbon colonialism: hidden numbers, hidden histories
7. Money talks: who gets to speak for the environment and how
8. Six myths that let them get away with it


Laurie Parsons is Lecturer in Human Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London and Principal Investigator of the projects The Disaster Trade: The Hidden Footprint of UK Imports and Investment Overseas and Hot Trends: How the Global Garment Industry Shapes Climate Vulnerability in Cambodia. His other books include Going Nowhere Fast: Inequality in the Age of Translocality (2020) and Climate Change in the Global Workplace (2021).

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