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Achieving environmental justiceA cross-national analysis$
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Karen Bell

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447305941

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447305941.001.0001

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‘We have always been close to nature’

‘We have always been close to nature’

environmental justice in Sweden

(p.119) SEVEN ‘We have always been close to nature’
Achieving environmental justice

Karen Bell

Policy Press

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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