De klimabevidste kommuner? Klimaets indtrængen på det kommunale felt og i København

Toke Richardo Jensen & David Marc Hansen

Student thesis: Master thesis


In recent years large media houses, politicians and organizations have increased public focus on the consequences and solutions of climate change. This recent focus has resulted in the importance of being considered green and responsible by the organizations’ stakeholders. Throughout this thesis, we investigate the rising attention on climate changes and the consequences, which are induced on the Danish municipalities, using Copenhagen Municipality as a case study. We examine how the focus has impacted and manifested itself into the field of municipalities through new institutional theory, specifically the concept of isomorphic mechanisms, which shows the different forms of pressure that affect the municipalities in their struggle of gaining and maintaining legitimacy. Further investigation of the climate related legislation and normative elements in the external environment illustrates how the municipalities are reacting as well as the attempts for their actions to appear modern and pro-climate. Amongst other things, the municipalities are employing contracts with the state and NGOs to respond to the expectations of the external environment. In our case study of the Copenhagen Municipality, we show concrete examples on how the municipality has handled the pressure originated by the increased focus on climate issues. The analysis is based on the following key elements from the new institutional theory: isomorphism, institutional work, entrepreneurship and organized hypocrisy. The result of our analysis demonstrates that Copenhagen has been affected, much like the rest of municipalities. In addition to adapting to the pressure, Copenhagen also exercises forms of institutional work, which, in a long-term perspective might lead to entrepreneurship within the field. At the end of our analysis, we discuss whether Copenhagen has conducted organized hypocrisy in their endeavour for legitimacy during their handling of climate issues. In the end of the report, we will put the handling of climate issues by Copenhagen into perspective as a branding strategy and show the initiatives the municipality has taken, as part of improving their image and creating the brand as the world’s climate capital.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages129