Fossil food: landed property as a hidden abode of global warming


Otro(a)s Autore(a)s: Martín Arboleda, Thomas F. Purcell y Pablo Roblero.

Año: 2024

Revista: Review of International Political Economy

Martín Arboleda, Thomas F. Purcell & Pablo Roblero (2024) Fossil food: landed property as a hidden abode of global warming, Review of International Political Economy, 31:1, 149-172,

This article analyzes the relation between climate change and the globalization of food systems. Although the corporate food regime made possible by the logistics revolution has been deemed highly intensive in its use of fossil fuels, the political economy of its energy foundations is yet to be deciphered. Based on EDGAR-FOOD, a global database that measures carbon emissions in the food system, we built a sample of nine South American economies to assess the extent to which capital mobility triggers emissions across different sectors. Findings from our study reveal that although food distribution was the most dynamic sector during the period in assessment, land-based emissions remained overwhelmingly larger in absolute terms. This, the paper concludes, highlights the definitive role that landed property – and the structural heterogeneity of agrarian capitalism more broadly – performs in the politics of carbon emissions. Accordingly, our findings lay bare a hidden abode of heterogeneous relations of production – chief of which are unpaid work, petty commodity production, and rent – that lies at the basis of a polarizing, hierarchically-structured international division of labor.

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