Implementing Sustainable Development: Strategies and Initiatives in High Consumption Societies

By William M. Lafferty; James Meadowcroft | Go to book overview
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7 Norway: Reluctantly Carrying the Torch

Oluf Langhelle


Introduction

Since the publication of Our Common Future in 1987, sustainable development has been a declared policy goal of the Norwegian government. 1 The dual position of Gro Harlem Brundtland as both leader of the World Commission on Environment and Development and Prime Minister of Norway (between 1986-9 and 1990-6), 2 makes the case of Norway special in the sense that there was a very strong connection between the World Commission and national politics. One might therefore expect that the understanding of sustainable development found in Our Common Future forms the basis of the Norwegian approach to sustainable development.

To a large degree this proves to be the case. The definitions, dimensions, and prescribed solutions in Our Common Future can be traced in several official documents and publications. None the less, discrepancies between the goals and strategies found in Our Common Future, and official documents and publications, can already be detected in the first White Paper outlining the Norwegian follow-up to the WCED (Norwegian Ministry of the Environment 1988-9). The changes are not so much in the understanding, but rather in the weight given to different aspects of sustainable development,

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