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‘We have always been close to nature’

‘We have always been close to nature’

environmental justice in Sweden

Chapter:
(p.119) SEVEN ‘We have always been close to nature’
Source:
Achieving environmental justice
Author(s):
Karen Bell
Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447305941.003.0007

Sweden’s internationally recognised welfare system and progressive environmental policies should enable a high level of environment justice but, as this chapter explains, this has not occurred to the extent that might be expected. While public discourse is very focused on environmental challenges, especially climate change, ‘environmental justice’, as a concept, has not been widely or intensively debated by Swedish policy makers, researchers, NGOs or the public. In particular, the distributional aspect of promoting justice among different groups within national boundaries has not been emphasised in discussions regarding sustainability and is only rarely highlighted in political and planning discussions. Although environmentalism has long been a focus of the policy agenda in Sweden, as with the other capitalist countries discussed in this book, this is increasingly being framed in terms of opportunities for green growth, market mechanisms and ecological modernisation. Though all the possible explanations for injustice seem to apply here, the main driver of environmental injustice appears to be the market system. The government continues to relocate environmental problems to low-income periphery nations and to marginalised groups at home.

Keywords:   Sweden, Alliance for Sweden, Ecological modernisation, second home, migrants, Saami, Roma, riots, ecological footprint, consensus politics

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