Deconstructing myth: low-carbon sustainability

Haigh, Matthew M. (2013). Deconstructing myth: low-carbon sustainability. Social Semiotics, 23(1) pp. 47–66.



Informed by a semiotics that directs attention to the context of the message, this paper contributes to work on the meanings of terms such as “low-carbon”, “green”, and “sustainability”. Interview-based evidence and printed material are used to assess the interest of hundreds of financial institutions in data on carbon emissions levels and environmental projects. The collection of such data is where for most interviewees its usefulness stopped. Such is typical of myth. By collecting carbon data, financial institutions can connote they are doing something about addressing the risks posed by global warming, without actually describing what it is they are doing.

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