| FNI NEWS
Elin Lerum Boasson obtains Ph.D. with Analysis of
Norwegian Climate Policy
(14.12.2011) FNI Senior Research Fellow
Elin Lerum Boasson has today successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation on
the forces and processes behind the shaping of various aspects of Norwegian
Dr Boasson analyses and compares the emergence of
climate policy measures in the period 2000 to 2010, focusing on three areas:
carbon capture and storage (CCS), renewable energy and energy efficiency in
In 2000, there was general political agreement that Norwegian
climate policy should focus on general economic measures, such as the CO2 tax
and emission quotas. Nevertheless, only ten years later, a wide range of more
specific measures were in place, albeit with considerable differences among the
While CCS is supported through direct state industry
construction, renewable energy is supported by means of a market-based system
of green certificates. In the buildings sector, a great range of different
measures have been introduced to increase energy efficiency.
sums have been invested in CCS, but much less support has been given to
renewable energy and energy efficiency of buildings. In her dissertation,
Boasson enquires: is this due to political governance, to close ties between
bureaucracy and industry actors, or to EU directives and regulation imposed on
Norway through the EEA Agreement?
analysis shows that Norwegian politicians have devoted considerable energy and
resources to realizing CCS, but opposition from the oil industry and parts of
the bureaucracy has made implementation difficult. Many actors have invoked EU
arguments to strengthen their own positions, whereas in reality the EU has had
scant influence on Norway's CCS policy.
As regards renewable energy, it
took a long time for the politicians to bow to pressures from the power
industry to create a system of green certificates. It also proved difficult to
design an alternative system that could be acceptable under EU state aid
Norwegian politicians were not very interested in
regulations related to energy efficiency of buildings, and this gave
administrative officials greater freedom to develop measures. EU policies in
this sphere had differing consequences for the various aspects of policy on
energy efficiency in buildings, due in part to differences between the
predominant cultures of the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, and the Ministry
of Local Government.
Comparison of three issue-areas reveals the climate
paradox of Norwegian politics: Politicians have spent so much time getting CCS
to succeed that they have neither had time nor energy left to deal with
day-to-day challenges related to other aspects of climate policy.
addition to the empirical analysis, the dissertation presents a theoretical
framework that can be applied to improve our understanding of how climate
policy is created, in Norway as well as in other countries.
Lerum Boasson is a Senior Research Fellow at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, to
which she has been affiliated since 2004. Her Ph.D. dissertation,
Multi-sphere Climate Policy: Conceptualizing National Policy-making in
Europe, was submitted to the Department of Political Science at the
University of Oslo in June 2011.
|The Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) is an
independent foundation engaged in research on international environmental,
energy, and resource management politics.
The Institute maintains a
multi-disciplinary approach, with main emphasis on political science,
economics, and international law.