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FIIN feature: Intersectionality and climate policy-making: The inclusion of social difference by three Swedish government agencies

First available online at: SAGE

Singleton, B. E., Rask, N., Magnusdottir, G. L., & Kronsell, A
Singleton, B. E., Rask, N., Magnusdottir, G. L., & Kronsell, A

Environmental Social Science, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden; University of Gothenburg, Sweden; Malmö University, Sweden


Climate change effects, views and approaches vary based on geographical location, class, gender, age and other climate related social factors. It is thus relevant to explore how various government bodies/authorities involved in dealing with climate change represent and act on social difference across diverse societies. This article performs a discourse analysis of climate policy documents from three Swedish government agencies: the Transport Administration, the Energy Agency, and the Environmental Protection Agency. This in order to explore how the different agencies represent social difference: what is made visible; what is obscured; what are the implications? We collected a purposive, collated sample of literature through online searches and personal communications with agency staff. We apply an intersectional approach to the sampled literature. The article finds that while each agency articulates an awareness of social difference, this tends to manifest in broad terms. It argues that this has the effect of obscuring differential climate impacts and effects of climate action, with potential environmental justice implications. Finally, the article concludes by proposing that incorporating intersectional approaches will support more effective, inclusive and equitable climate action, in Sweden and elsewhere.

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