From weak to strong sustainable development : an analysis of Norwegian economic policy tools in mitigating climate change
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Original versionNilsen, H. R. (2010). From weak to strong sustainable development : an analysis of Norwegian economic policy tools in mitigating climate change (Doctoral thesis). Bodø Graduate School of Business
This thesis focuses on the economic concepts of weak and strong sustainable development in relation to mitigating climate change. The overall research question is how to move from weak towards strong sustainable development. The case studied is Norwegian economic policy tools in relation to the petroleum industry. In the mam part of the thesis, vanous aspects of weak and strong sustainable development are analysed: methodology, ontology, ethics and historical background. This part constructs the foundation for the following three papers, which all three contribute to answer the overall research question. Paper 1 uses circulation economics to illustrate the circular process of carbon capture and storage (CCS). The research questions are regarding how circulation economics and strong sustainable development can contribute to the preconditions for CCS. The situation today remains however, generally speaking, a long way away from recognizing strong sustainable development as an alternative to weak sustainable development. A rare exception is the arena of paper 2, the Ethical Guidelines for the Norwegian Government Pension Fund - Global. The income to the Fund originates from the Norwegian petroleum industry, and the Fund is a potentially powerful policy instrument, controlling a huge part of the world's financial assets. The research questions of this paper analyse mitigating climate change in relation to the existing ethical base of the Ethical Guidelines, overlapping consensus. Moreover, an alternative base - discourse ethics - is suggested, to address mitigating climate change in a more firm manner. In paper 3, a theoretical model is constructed to make communication and cooperation between weak and strong sustainable development more even, than is detected in paper l and 2. The model is called reflexive sustainable development, and is to move the situation of today towards strong sustainable development.
Doctoral thesis (Ph.D.) – Bodø Graduate School of Business, 2010