Lifting the fog of oil? Exploring the framing of ambitious local climate politics in an oil city
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionGeografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 2022. 10.1080/04353684.2021.2020674
How can an oil city pursue ambitious local climate politics and policies? Through a critical discussion of the process and debates over the making of an ambitious climate and energy action plan (CAP) in Norway’s oil capital, Stavanger, this paper dissects the paradoxes evident in pursuing local climate policy and politics in a city with high dependence on oil revenue and an identity closely tied to the oil industry. With an analysis of how different actors frame place, scale and knowledge, the paper explores politicians’ arguments, understandings and contestations, revealing how such a plan came into being. The analysis shows a discrepancy in how the actors understand climate change in terms of scale, whether it is an issue suitable for local governance and politics or not, and how they regard the city’s potential role in climate transformation. By mobilizing Stavanger’s past transformation from a poor fishery city into an oil capital to a future as a low-carbon sustainable city, the idea of the city’s transformative capacity became clear. This made space for politicians and parties to change their view on climate change as a matter for local governance and politics, culminating in the passing of a very ambitious CAP.