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Green Herrings? : looking for agents of ecological modernisation in the Öresund region and exploring their understandings of sustainability transitions

Holtam, Philip LU (2015) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20151
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
Despite longstanding and far-reaching recognition of the need for social change towards environmental sustainability, the delivery of this transition is proving problematic. Dominant strategies for sustainable development in western countries focus on uncoupling economic development from ecological harm. Scandinavia epitomises this approach to green economy, especially in the transition to a low-carbon energy system in order to mitigate climate change.
This thesis argues that ecological modernisation theory is a highly relevant lens for viewing the energy transition in the Öresund region. The empirical part of the research takes a bottom-up approach to explore how energy sector professionals in the Öresund region understand... (More)
Despite longstanding and far-reaching recognition of the need for social change towards environmental sustainability, the delivery of this transition is proving problematic. Dominant strategies for sustainable development in western countries focus on uncoupling economic development from ecological harm. Scandinavia epitomises this approach to green economy, especially in the transition to a low-carbon energy system in order to mitigate climate change.
This thesis argues that ecological modernisation theory is a highly relevant lens for viewing the energy transition in the Öresund region. The empirical part of the research takes a bottom-up approach to explore how energy sector professionals in the Öresund region understand sustainability transitions and how they, both discursively and through behaviour, act as agents of ecological modernisation. Thus, the research aim is to understand how agents within a particular context perceive and encourage change. Interviews were conducted and analysed thematically to find three distinct, although not discrete, strains of ecological modernisation: pragmatic, opportunist and civil-minded. These strains are presented, evaluated based on their ability to deliver lasting pro-environmental outcomes and connected to political economy ‘worldviews’ on global environmental change.
The conclusion suggests that the diversity within ecological modernisation needs to be recognised for a more nuanced understanding of ‘green growth’ as a pathway to sustainability. This understanding could be used to frame collaborations for further sustainability transitions that are mutually meaningful for sustainability science researchers and energy sector practitioners. (Less)
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author
Holtam, Philip LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
sustainability science, Öresund region, ecological modernisation, energy transitions, agency
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2015:032
language
English
id
7448257
date added to LUP
2015-06-25 10:48:39
date last changed
2015-06-25 10:48:39
@misc{7448257,
  abstract     = {Despite longstanding and far-reaching recognition of the need for social change towards environmental sustainability, the delivery of this transition is proving problematic. Dominant strategies for sustainable development in western countries focus on uncoupling economic development from ecological harm. Scandinavia epitomises this approach to green economy, especially in the transition to a low-carbon energy system in order to mitigate climate change. 
This thesis argues that ecological modernisation theory is a highly relevant lens for viewing the energy transition in the Öresund region. The empirical part of the research takes a bottom-up approach to explore how energy sector professionals in the Öresund region understand sustainability transitions and how they, both discursively and through behaviour, act as agents of ecological modernisation. Thus, the research aim is to understand how agents within a particular context perceive and encourage change. Interviews were conducted and analysed thematically to find three distinct, although not discrete, strains of ecological modernisation: pragmatic, opportunist and civil-minded. These strains are presented, evaluated based on their ability to deliver lasting pro-environmental outcomes and connected to political economy ‘worldviews’ on global environmental change.
The conclusion suggests that the diversity within ecological modernisation needs to be recognised for a more nuanced understanding of ‘green growth’ as a pathway to sustainability. This understanding could be used to frame collaborations for further sustainability transitions that are mutually meaningful for sustainability science researchers and energy sector practitioners.},
  author       = {Holtam, Philip},
  keyword      = {sustainability science,Öresund region,ecological modernisation,energy transitions,agency},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Green Herrings? : looking for agents of ecological modernisation in the Öresund region and exploring their understandings of sustainability transitions},
  year         = {2015},
}