The (anti-) climate politics of European right-wing populism

White skin, black fuel: Investigating the (anti-)climate politics of European right-wing populism

Right-wing populist parties are exercising increasing influence in Europe. They have negative attitudes to immigration as their main selling point, but they also tend to be critical of the scientific consensus on climate change. This gives rise to a new situation: just as emissions cuts are more urgently needed than ever, parties with a regressive climate agenda are advancing in Europe. But this phenomenon has been left unexplored. This research project will subject it to the first systematic investigation. We focus on three right-wing populist parties:

Sverigedemokraterna (SD), which wields growing influence over Swedish politics; Fremskrittspartiet (FrP), part of the Norwegian government since 2013 and perhaps the most uncompromising advocate of expanded oil and gas production; and Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), which, after entering the Bundestag in 2017, is the first political actor with a real capacity to question German efforts to scale up renewable energy.

This project will through different methods, like interviews and document analysis, investigate how and why these parties have taken a position that question climate science and support continued use of fossil fuels. We will scrutinize the actual polices of these parties and why and how they combine anti-immigration policies with anticlimate polices, and also look at broader consequences and implications of this in Europe.

Researchers in the project:
Ståle Holgersen (project leader) Uppsala University.
Andreas Malm Lund University.
Kristina Boréus Uppsala University.

Last modified: 2022-09-13