Introduction: Energy and the North

  • Hanna Lempinen


In political, popular, and scholarly debates, the Arctic is often framed as the world’s new energy province; increasing consumption, dwindling reserves, warming climate, and developing technologies are expected to push energy-related activities further into the previously inaccessible North. In this chapter, Lempinen takes a critical look at this narrative, pointing out uncertainties related to future prospects of large-scale energy development in the region. Drawing attention to the problematic ways in which energy and its social sustainability are addressed (energy being the production of oil and gas, and its social sustainability remaining either sidelined or reduced to socioeconomic concerns), the author argues for the dire need to critically investigate the political and scientific “truths” that are being produced about energy and its social dimension in the circumpolar North.


Arctic Energy Social sustainability Sustainability science 


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanna Lempinen
    • 1
  1. 1.Aleksanteri InstituteUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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