The paper argues that the increasing importance of the financial dimension of climate change is mostly due to an epochal transformation in the social composition of labor (emergence of cognitive capitalism) and to its subsumption under financial capital. The author’s aim is to understand as well as criticize such twofold process. He firstly discuss the notion of definitory power - through a reference to Ulrich Beck and Christian Marazzi - and the way it reframes the links between class-situations and risk-situations. Subsequently, he analyzes how such power has historically shaped carbon markets, namely the privileged agents of the financialization of global warming. Finally, he focuses on the case study represented by the South Africa campaign One Million Climate Jobs to highlight how climate justice enacts an alternative vision of the relationship between labor and climate change.
Keywords: Carbon trading, climate justice, cognitive capitalism, financialization of climate change, definitory power, One Million Climate Jobs campaign