Preliminary Programme

Wed 12 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 13 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Fri 14 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Sat 15 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00

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Wednesday 12 April 2023 16.30 - 18.30
X-4 POL04 Early European Climate Policy - Conflict and Compromise
Västra Hamngatan 25 AK2 136 (Z)
Network: Politics, Citizenship, and Nations Chair: Martin Hultman
Organizers: Kristoffer Ekberg, Kristoffer Ekberg, Stephen Milder Discussant: Martin Hultman
Ann-Kristin Bergquist, Thomas David : Business Inaction: the International Chamber of Commerce and Responses to Climate Change 1970s—1980s
This paper will examine how the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – the worlds’ largest transnational business association – responded to the issue of climate change from the early 1970s until the UN Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. The ICC emerged in the early 1970s as a key organization ... (Show more)
This paper will examine how the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – the worlds’ largest transnational business association – responded to the issue of climate change from the early 1970s until the UN Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. The ICC emerged in the early 1970s as a key organization for safeguarding business interests in global environmental governance by its exclusive status as a partner to the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP). The overarching aim of this paper is to identify explanations as to why the ICC remained silent about the issue of climate change well until the late 1980s, although there exists evidence in our archive material that the science of climate change was known to the organization. We preliminary hypothesize that ICC’s strategy to overlook the very issue of climate change was a way to avoid internal conflicts among its members, which ultimately had both direct and indirect impacts on climate “in-action” at the UN arena. (Show less)

Christophe Bonneuil : Parallel Diplomacy. French Government and French Oil Companies in the International and European Arenas of Climate Policy, 1979-1993
Few scholarly work has considered the climate warming debates and policy in France in the 1980s, but this issue was not absent from the public agenda in France, and the 10 years before Rio are a very rich period of investigation on how various actors interplayed in the making (and ... (Show more)
Few scholarly work has considered the climate warming debates and policy in France in the 1980s, but this issue was not absent from the public agenda in France, and the 10 years before Rio are a very rich period of investigation on how various actors interplayed in the making (and undoing) of climate policies. From 1981 to 1993, during the presidency of François Mitterrand (Social Democrat), the climate question shifted from a low-visibility issue (1981-1986) to a major international issue that was the subject of governmental and diplomatic initiatives (1988-1993). The article will focus on the contrast and confrontation between the ambitions of a climate diplomacy (especially under Michel Rocard as Prime Minister 1988-1991) and a parallel diplomacy driven by french oil companies (Elf and Total) in connection with international Oil industry organisations (IPIECA and EUROPIA). On the one hand, the French government played a leading role in the emergence of an international coalition of state willing to act against climate warming (French co-initiative of the Hague Declaration in March 1989, French activism in the preparation of the climate convention adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio in June 1992). On the other hand, the oil industry endeavoured to fight back in order to avoid both quantified commitments to reduce emissions (-20% between 1990 and 2000 was requested by the UN Conference in Toronto in June 1988 for industrialized countries) and a fiscal policy on fossil fuels (the European ecotax proposed in 1989 was discarded in the Council of Ministers for Industry a few days before the Rio Summit).
The archives of the various ministries (cabinets and administration) at Pierrefitte’s National Archives, the archives of Elf and Total (consulted at the Total’s Headquarter), as well as oral history interviews with the main protagonists, will make it possible to document this parallel diplomacy. (Show less)

Kristoffer Ekberg, Thomas David : Green Self-regulation – Swedish Industry Mobilization against Environmental Protection
During the 1980s environmentalism seemed to challenge labour disputes as the main nuisance of the industry leadership. The environmental movements of the 1970s had in some instances transformed into political parties and with the anti-nuclear sentiments still strong and other issues raising to the fore the Swedish election in 1988 ... (Show more)
During the 1980s environmentalism seemed to challenge labour disputes as the main nuisance of the industry leadership. The environmental movements of the 1970s had in some instances transformed into political parties and with the anti-nuclear sentiments still strong and other issues raising to the fore the Swedish election in 1988 was dubbed the environmental election. At the same time business interests and industry actors had since 1984 begun a push to reframe environmental issues into one where corporate interest and environmentalism could go hand in hand. In this paper I aim to show how climate change proved both a possibility and a threat among these actors in the Swedish debate. By analysing reports from think tanks as well as public displays of corporate environmentalism this paper will follow the development of economic arguments against regulation as well as the active mobilization of industry interests to oppose the environmental movement. The paper then ends with the unlikely introduction of a carbon tax in 1991. (Show less)

Stephen Milder : Trusting the Science, Seeking Consensus: the Emergence of Climate Politics in 1980s West Germany
The 1980s saw the continued politicization of environmental topics in West Germany. While acid rain and the “forest death” it caused provoked outrage and demands for action from many Germans, the new Green Party’s entrance into parliament in 1983 shocked the political establishment. By 1986, amid a fierce ... (Show more)
The 1980s saw the continued politicization of environmental topics in West Germany. While acid rain and the “forest death” it caused provoked outrage and demands for action from many Germans, the new Green Party’s entrance into parliament in 1983 shocked the political establishment. By 1986, amid a fierce public debate about the planned Wackersdorf nuclear fuel reprocessing center, and in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster, debates over nuclear energy reached fever pitch. And yet, climate change, the issue which Chancellor Helmut Kohl deemed in 1987 the “greatest environmental problem” of the era, seemed to be a matter of political consensus rather than contention.
This paper asks how and why protecting the climate became a matter of widespread political consensus in late 1980s West Germany. Focusing particularly on the Bundestag’s Enquête Committee on “Precaution for Protection of the Earth’s Atmosphere” (1987-1990), it shows how a seemingly apolitical, scientific approach was applied to climate change, and how politicians consciously decided to separate the issue of climate change from contentious subjects like nuclear energy or the destruction of the tropical rainforest, despite the fact that those matters were closely linked to climate change. Placing the Enquête Committee’s work into a longer context, then, this paper shows how the emergence of alternative research institutes, the Greens’ entrance into the political mainstream, and establishment politicians’ eagerness to prove that they were serious about environmental protection—all of which were on display within the committee itself—helped “climate protection” emerge as a separate and less contentious area of environmental politics. (Show less)



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