New Report: Climate Change and Populism: Comparing the populist parties’ climate policies in Denmark, Finland and Sweden
In a new report from The Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA), researchers from Finland, Sweden and Denmark investigate populist resistance to ambitious climate change policy in the Nordic context. The report finds that the three leading Nordic populist parties studied, the Sweden Democrats, the Finns Party and the Danish People’s party, are officially distancing themselves from a strict climate denialist position, albeit to varying degrees.
“They categorically dismiss climate denialism officially but unofficially they still flirt with the idea,” says Antto Vihma, one of the authors of the report and a Leading Researcher at FIIA. “Climate policy is a delicate issue for populists in the Nordic countries, where public support for climate action is significant. On the other hand, it is lucrative to break a consensus.”
In spite of the differing political context of Denmark, Finland and Sweden, there are some common elements in the Nordic populist parties’ current climate positions and strategic communication. According to the report, all parties have continuously framed climate policy in terms of “urban elites” versus “the people” outside the city centers, in the most typical populist tradition.
Gunilla Reischl, senior researcher and head of the Global Politics and Security Programme at UI, and Sofie Berglund, programme manager and analyst in the same programme are co-writers of the report.