Climate forerunner or unambitious follower? – Discursive construction of a Finnish national energy and climate identity and its struggle for legitimacy in parliament

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dc.contributor Aalto University en
dc.contributor Aalto-yliopisto fi
dc.contributor.advisor Eräranta, Kirsi Leeve, Liisa 2018-09-10T09:31:41Z 2018-09-10T09:31:41Z 2018
dc.description.abstract A systemic change needs to occur in Finland in order to move to a zero emissions energy system. A central challenge in achieving systemic change and carbon neutrality is making decision makers as well as citizens understand the urgency and importance of change. Research suggests that media coverage on climate change has a smaller impact on public opinion than do signals from the political elite and that we should be looking at the discourses of national identities to reveal which states are more likely to comply with environmental norms. In this study Critical Discourse Analysis was employed to examine what kinds of discourses the governing parties employed in the parliamentary discussion on the 2016 energy and climate strategy, what kind of a national energy and climate identity emerged from the discourses and how was the emerging energy and climate identity delegitimated by members of the opposition. Four dominant discourses could be discerned from the speeches of the government party members. These discourses were named 1) Ambitious forerunner, 2) Compliance and co-operation, 3) Land of green gold; and 4) Self-sufficient and secure. In addition there was one super-discourse called “Economy and jobs”, which was used by the speakers to justify or legitimise all other four discourses. Instead of one cohesive identity, each government party could be seen as building their own variant of a national energy and climate identity. The opposition used three specific discursive themes to delegitimate the identity or identities offered by the government parties. These were dubbed 1) Emergency and urgency, 2) Carbon sinks and 3) Future technology. Generally, the opposition did not buy the ambitious forerunner dis-course and felt the identity relied too heavily on using Finnish forests as a commodity rather than preserving them as a carbon sink. Strategic decisions on energy and climate politics were largely legitimated by the traditional state imperative of economic growth and the government discourse mostly lacked reference to a common global responsibility concerning the climate. This would imply that the government lacks the readiness to make decisions that are necessary for the climate but that do not represent the direct economic interests of Finland – thus hindering Finland’s evolvement into a true climate leader. On the other hand, complying with EU-level regulation and the Paris Agreement was seen as important, indicating that Finland is ready to follow agreements made in international forums. If a discursive energy and climate identity could be an indicator of a nation’s willingness to evolve and comply with environmental norms, this could potentially also be applied to corporations and their top management to forecast how willingly the corporation is to invest in transforming operations in a climate friendlier direction. en
dc.format.extent 74
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.title Climate forerunner or unambitious follower? – Discursive construction of a Finnish national energy and climate identity and its struggle for legitimacy in parliament en
dc.type G2 Pro gradu, diplomityö fi Kauppakorkeakoulu fi School of Business en
dc.contributor.department Johtamisen laitos fi
dc.subject.keyword climate en
dc.subject.keyword politics en
dc.subject.keyword communication en
dc.subject.keyword discourse en
dc.subject.keyword national identity en
dc.subject.keyword legitimation en
dc.identifier.urn URN:NBN:fi:aalto-201809105096
dc.type.ontasot Master's thesis en
dc.type.ontasot Maisterin opinnäyte fi
dc.programme Corporate Communication en
dc.location P1 I fi
local.aalto.electroniconly yes
local.aalto.openaccess yes

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