Stavanger, Norway (AP) — North Sea oil and gas help make Norway one of the wealthiest countries in the world. But when Norwegians head to polls on Monday, climate change concerns make the future of the industry a top priority for the campaign. Both the ruling Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Erna Solberg, and
Stavanger, Norway (AP) — North Sea oil and gas help make Norway one of the wealthiest countries in the world. But when Norwegians head to polls on Monday, climate change concerns make the future of the industry a top priority for the campaign.
Both the ruling Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Erna Solberg, and the opposition Labor Party, which leads the polls, are advocating a gradual move away from fossil fuels that continue to support the economy.
However, in Norway, a large political party rarely controls alone. Small players usually need to build a majority coalition, which can have a significant impact on the government agenda. Some demand a more radical cut in the country’s dominant industry and income flow.
“Our demand is to stop looking for oil and gas and stop giving businesses new permits,” said Lars Hartbrecken, a spokesman for the Socialist Left Party’s climate and energy. increase. He claims that after eight years of mission, the government is protecting the status quo when the country is hungry for a post-oil future.
An August report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted global floods and fires and created waves in Norway.
It also forces Norwegians to wrestle with the paradox at the center of their society.
With hydropower energy grids and electric vehicles, they are one of the world’s most enthusiastic consumers of green power, but having been exporting oil and gas for decades means that the country has 5.3 million people. A fund that means that enjoys a generous welfare buffer and is located in the world’s largest government-affiliated property.
Petroleum and Energy Minister Tina Blue said it is unlikely to force the end of the country’s largest industry, which accounts for more than 40% of exports and directly employs more than 5% of the workforce.
“My question is always: what happens after you stop? What else do the world do to ensure that it achieves its climate goals? It affects our own climate budget. It may, but it won’t make a difference globally, “she says.
She agrees with a report highlighted by the Norwegian Petroleum and Gas Association, an industry group, stating that the end of Norwegian production will have a net negative impact on world emissions. Demand remains unchanged, and cleaner Norwegian production will be replaced by other high-emission countries, she says. She prefers a long-term approach that focuses on demand.
“It’s a bit disappointing to think that in this campaign, the only way to discuss policies and trust your will to reduce emissions is to stop oil and gas production. This is agriculture. It’s a more subtle issue, including other things such as transportation and transportation. “
Approximately 70% of all new cars sold in Norway are electric vehicles, consumers continue to benefit from government subsidies, and the government suggests that ecotaxes will be raised. Earlier this month, a fine-tuning of the existing tax system was also proposed. In this case, some explorers will have to bear more of the risk of looking for oil.
Workers support this approach and allow the industry to envision a similar future. However, wind power generation, “blue hydrogen” that uses natural gas to produce alternative fuels, and carbon dioxide in the ocean.
However, trading horses after the election can be detrimental to workers. The Left Socialist Party says it will not provide light support, and other potential partners, the Center Party, are also calling for a more aggressive approach to the energy shift.
“For now, our plan is to run with two old friends from these parties,” said Espen Barth Eide, a spokesman for Labor’s Energy. “We still think this will work. But if their starting position is to end the exploration, that won’t happen …. We have a mature dialogue about the next stage of the oil industry. I will do my best. “
Most of the country’s oil and gas still come from mature regions of the North Sea, but most of its undeveloped reserves are in the Barents Sea above the Arctic Circle-the red line for environmentalists. Eide says that in the future, focusing on where oil exploration can take place may open up potential compromises.
But Hartbrecken, a former chairman of the Norwegian Friends of the Earth, a climate charity, said the new government needs to be more urgent. “The IPCC report made a big impression on the population, but there is one thing I’m more afraid of than what I had in the report: indifference and despair take over. This is me. People may think it’s a big problem that we can’t do anything about. But we can. We can do a lot to solve it. We have to start now. . “