Possibilities and problems with applying a consumption perspective in local climate strategies - the case of Gothenburg, Sweden


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Sweden has been praised for its sustainability efforts and decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. When nations and urban districts publicize their low GHG emissions, these emissions are often based on a production perspective including only emissions occurring within their geographical boundary. If instead a consumption perspective is applied then all emissions attributable to the inhabitants consumption patterns, no matter where they occur, are included, e.g. from imported goods and air travel. This provides new outlooks on sustainability, from this perspective Swedish emissions have increased rather than decreased in the last decades. Swedish researchers and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency propose that the production perspective should be complemented with a consumption perspective to describe more fairly who is responsible for what emissions. The purpose of this paper is to examine how a consumption perspective on GHG emissions has gained ground in Sweden, specifically in the new Strategic Climate Program of the City of Gothenburg, discussing what municipal strategies and environmental discourses this perspective enhances. Applying actor network theory, we found three common features of importance for Sweden, and the City of Gothenburg, supporting the consumption perspective to gain ground. One is the existence of long-term environmental goals that facilitate this perspective. The other features are the existence of civil servants as drivers and the use of calculations from legitimate "fact builders." We conclude that a consumption perspective strengthens the environmental justice discourse (as it claims to be a more just way of calculating global and local environmental effects) while possibly also increasing an individualized environmental discourse (as many municipal strategies aim to inform and influence the public to make lifestyle changes on their own). We argue that a consumption perspective is necessary in order to fully address environmental problems and to highlight issues of justice and responsibility. At the same time, this kind of eco-governmentality might lead to individualized self-governed climate subjects with outlooks that are too limited to foster change of dominant everyday practices. (C) 2016 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
机译:瑞典因其在可持续发展方面的努力和减少温室气体(GHG)排放而受到赞誉。当国家和市区宣传其低温室气体排放量时,这些排放量通常基于生产角度,仅包括在其地理范围内发生的排放量。如果改为采用消费视角,则包括居民消费模式的所有排放,无论它们发生在何处,例如来自进口商品和航空旅行。这提供了关于可持续性的新观点,从这个角度看,瑞典的排放在过去几十年中有所增加而不是减少。瑞典研究人员和瑞典环境保护署建议,应以生产观点与消费观点相辅相成,以更公平地描述谁负责排放。本文的目的是研究瑞典在温室气体排放方面的消费观点如何获得发展,特别是在哥德堡市新的战略气候计划中,讨论了这种观点会增强哪些城市战略和环境论述。应用演员网络理论,我们发现了对瑞典和哥德堡市具有重要意义的三个共同特征,支持了消费观点的发展。其中之一是长期环境目标的存在,这促进了这一观点。其他特征是公务员作为驱动程序的存在以及合法“事实构建者”的计算方法的使用。我们得出的结论是,消费观点增强了环境正义话语(因为它声称是计算全球和本地环境影响的更公正的方式),同时还可能增加了个性化的环境话语(因为许多市政策略旨在告知和影响公众以自行改变生活方式)。我们认为,为了全面解决环境问题并强调正义和责任问题,有必要采用消费观点。同时,这种生态政府可能会导致个体化的自治气候主体,其前景过于局限,无法促进主导性日常习惯的改变。 (C)2016由Elsevier Ltd.出版



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