“We are not in this to save the polar bears!” – the link between community renewable energy development and ecological citizenship

  • Mine Islar, Henner Busch
  • Innovation The European Journal of Social Science Research, June 2016, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/13511610.2016.1188684

How renewable energy projects influence people relationship to the nation state

What is it about?

For this article, we did fieldwork in Samsø, Denmark and Feldheim, Germany where we found that citizens organised and managed renewable energy transitions in their municipalities. We investigated the conditions of these transitions and we found the following: there is a great potential in energy collectives to pursue sustainable change. In these processes locals exercise a different idea of citizenship that prioritises social cohesiveness, belonging and trust in their local community. Even if their priority is not always to “save the polar bears” which are far away from their village, they can still mobilize for their community’s shared goals which can include ecological objectives.

Why is it important?

We need to understand the dynamics of local energy transitions if we want to achieve a just energy system in the future.

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The following have contributed to this page: Mr Henner Busch