Ethics in Danish Energy Policy  book cover
1st Edition

Ethics in Danish Energy Policy

ISBN 9781032237756
Published December 13, 2021 by Routledge
288 Pages 41 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book deepens our understanding of ethical drivers in energy policy and contributes to future decision-making on transitions towards a sustainable energy system.

During the latest fifty years Western energy politics have been faced with a series of ethical challenges including rapid growth, oil crises, security of supply, nuclear power and climate change. Combining philosophical, historical and planning approaches into one narrative, these dilemmas are explored using Denmark as the key case study. Drawing on contributions from several experts in the field, the ethics of energy is investigated from multiple perspectives at the individual, corporate, local and national levels, focusing on concrete decisions where different ethical considerations are weighted against each other. This comprehensive approach helps to gain a deeper understanding of the energy sector’s history and gives important input to its future layout.

Drawing comparisons with European and global examples, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of energy politics and policy, environmental ethics, climate change and sustainability transitions.

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction: Studying Energy and Ethics
  2. Finn Arler

  3. Impartiality and Ethics in Practice
  4. Finn Arler

  5. 1950s Syndrome and Danish Energy Consumption and Production
  6. Bo Poulsen and Mogens Rüdiger

  7. Energy Crises, Supply Security, and Energy Planning
  8. Mogens Rüdiger

  9. Energy Policy at a Crossroad
  10. Finn Arler

  11. Renewables
  12. Finn Arler

  13. Alternative Energy Plans
  14. Finn Arler

  15. Climate Change and Energy Planning after Brundtland
  16. Finn Arler

  17. The Global Community and Distributions of Rights and Responsibilities
  18. Finn Arler

  19. Liberalization of the Danish Energy Sector: An Era of Turnabouts
  20. Karl Sperling and Mogens Rüdiger

  21. COP 15 and the New Climate Agenda: The Ethics of Bottom-Up Governance
  22. Kristian Høyer Toft

  23. Half a Century of Energy Policy, Planning and Debate: Summary and Outlook

Finn Arler and Karl Sperling

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Finn Arler works as Professor of Ethics and Planning at the Department of Planning, Aalborg University, Denmark. His main research is about planning in relation to ethics and politics. His main fields of interests are sustainability, climate change, landscape democracy, economics, biodiversity, and concepts of nature.

Mogens Rüdiger is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and Society at Aalborg University. He has published extensively on various aspects of energy history.

Karl Sperling, Ph.D., works as an associate professor in Energy Planning at the Department of Planning at Aalborg University. His main research is within renewable energy systems with an interdisciplinary interest in planning, policy and economy with a special focus on urban and local energy transitions; grassroots initiatives in the energy sector; and coordination and ownership of smart energy systems.

Kristian Høyer Toft obtained a Ph.D. in political science from Aarhus University. He has held positions as postdoc in bioethics at the University of Copenhagen and an associate professorship at Aalborg University, Denmark, in applied philosophy. His research is focused on corporate responsibility, in particular with regard to climate change.

Bo Poulsen is a Professor of Modern History at Aalborg University, Denmark, with a special interest in fisheries and marine science. Poulsen is currently the PI of the Danish Research Council-funded project, Living on the Edge.