Changing public discourse on the environment: Danish media coverage of the Rio and Johannesburg UN summits

  • Petersen L
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Environmental degradation and unsustainable development were addressed on a global scale at the UN summits in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and Johannesburg in 2002. This contribution presents analyses of Danish television coverage of these two summits and related topics, viewing the media stories as exemplary cases of wider public conceptions of the environment. Over a decade rhetoric about the summits and the environment changed, the agenda changed, and key environmental issues were repackaged. These changes are interpreted in relation to ecological modernisation and discussed as a possible development towards post-environmentalism. Already ecological modernisation can be perceived as post-environmentalist, but the suggestion here is the transformation of ecological modernisation as a prominent discursive frame and thus a further shift in eco-political discourse.

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  • Lars Kjerulf Petersen

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