Presentation & conversation: The comfort of alignment: Visions of mining and green steel futures

When: Monday 23rd of October, 2023, 14.00-15.00 (EEST) / 11.00-12.00 (UTC) 

Where: Live at Helsinki University. Unioninkatu 37, room 1066 (tiedekuntasali) & Online on Zoom

Please register here


EXALT is delighted to welcome Georgia de Leeuw, from the Political Science Department at Lund University, to give a presentation and hold discussion on iron ore mining and the green steel transition in Sweden. 



Sweden is one of the countries heralded as the frontriders of the steel transition, leading efforts to decarbonise steel production with hydrogen-based technology. Visibly claiming this space of ‘green’ steel leadership internationally, the former Swedish Prime Minister gifted Joe Biden a candle holder made of the first batch of fossil free steel with the engraving “a piece of the future”. 

In this EXALT presentation, Georgia de Leeuw will discuss the growth-driven decarbonisation efforts’ continued orientation toward extraction as a naturalised path ahead, toward a green steel future. This is visible in the steel transition’s emphasis on an upscale in production and the accompanied pressures on energy, land, biodiversity, and people. The steel transition is situated in what has been framed as the “land of the future” or “Sweden’s mining mecca” – the land of the indigenous Sami peoples, a sacrificed space dedicated to industrial expansion. 

This talk summarizes de Leeuw’s PhD research and scrutinizes the green transition’s alignment with the logic of extractivism. She does this by juxtaposing industry, state and local notions of green steel futures against voices of ‘misalignment’ with the logic of extractivism in search for alternative transition trajectories, or what she understands as ‘killjoy futures’. Her research is based on about 70 interviews and 15 observations in Norrbotten, as well as secondary data in the form of reports, pre-recorded workshops and seminars, and mission statements.

This 20-minute presentation will be followed by a Q&A and conversation. 


About de Leeuw:

Georgia de Leeuw is a PhD candidate at the Political Science Department at Lund University. Her research focuses on iron ore mining and the green steel transition in Sweden, through which she examines Sweden’s “attraction to extraction” in imaginaries of green steel futures. She examines obedience to the logic of extractivism in steel decarbonization, and alternative or killjoy trajectories.