Energy, Environment and Transportation : An Actor-Role Network Analysis of the World Energy Outlook 1977-2016

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för arkeologi och antik historia

Abstract: This thesis explores how energy and environmental issues have been presented in the transportation sector over time in World Energy Outlook (WEO) publications; the flagship publication of the International Energy Agency (IEA). The thesis covers WEO publications from the first publication of 1977 up to 2016 (with the exception of WEO 1982). The data was extracted through the aid of interpretive content analysis, focusing on the transport sector. Energy and Environmental issues within the context of transportation were then discussed as to their roles and forms of action they were ascribed throughout the publications. Actor-network theory was used as a theoretical framework to map and showcase how these roles and actions conditioned and connected to each other. The results of the study show that energy has had a tendency to be divided into the camps of fuels that are either solutions or problems. The exceptions are biofuels, which stand out as fuels that are both solutions and problematic. The environmental issues are solved and caused through energy use, and in 1977,environmental consideration were presented as obstacles to energy security. In 1993 global warming and emissions have changed into being major policy concern. Pollution, congestion, dust, noise, and related health issues are added to the fray as time proceeds, and so are more forms of energy for solutions. Goals and interests showcased in the publications are shown to conflict with others, while energy efficiency as a solution has emerged as a solution to both global warming and energy security. The transport sector starts of as framed more asan area or space where environmental issues take place and solutions are implemented,however, increasing motorisation of the sector and traffic and its role as amajor emitter are later added as active aspects of the conditioning of thesector and in offsetting the solutions. Regional cases are used to exemplify the issues and solutions, with a major focus on OECD contexts, and technological renewal emerges early on as a mayor pathway in solving the environmental issues, through the support of consumers. However, the major issues still remain the same as in 1993.

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