Battle begins over coal on Svalbard

Næringsminister Monica Mæland besøker Svalbard. Her utenfor den nye gruva Lunckefjell. Foto: Trond Viken, Nærings- og fiskeridepartementet.

As debate flies over how Norway can cut its own carbon emissions, the top political leader on Svalbard is mounting a battle to keep the Arctic archipelago’s coal mines open. Svalbard’s coal-fired power plants release around 200,000 tons of carbon emissions every year, but she nonetheless hopes to get support from environmental organizations even though most such groups […]

Higher age limit for workers sets off a fuss

A proposal by Norway’s conservative government coalition to raise the maximum age for salaried workers has sparked opposition from both the labour movement and employers’ organizations. The government claims it’s just trying to expand the work force. Labour Minister Robert Eriksson of the Progress Party announced this week that the government proposes raising the age […]

Oil fund grilled over its coal holdings

Statoil continues to pump up profits from its oil and gas operations. Pictured here, the Sleipner platform off Norway. PHOTO: Statoil/Dag Myrestrand

Norway’s huge sovereign wealth fund, known as the oil fund since it’s fueled by the country’s oil revenues, is being grilled once again, this time over its investments in coal. While environmentalists want the fund to dump its coal mining stakes, some economists do, too, warning that they can become unprofitable as well as damaging for the planet. […]

Kjos calls conflict ‘completely crazy’

PHOTO: Berglund

Bjørn Kjos, embattled chief executive of Norwegian Air, was lashing out at EU and US authorities this week as he braced for another meeting between them that may decide the fate of his airline’s trans-Atlantic service. He calls the ongoing delays in his airline’s attempt to win a permanent license for the service “completely crazy.” […]

Oil fund boss mulls unlisted investments

Norway’s oil fund, where oil profits are stashed to help fund Norwegians’ pensions in the future, isn’t allowed to invest in companies that aren’t stocklisted or in the process of being listed. The fund’s boss has recently questioned that strategy, and seemed open to investing in companies long before they list on a stock exchange. “The […]

‘Sad day for Svalbard’ as mine lays off workers

Around 100 workers at the Store Norske mine on Norway’s Arctic archipelago of Svalbard are being laid off, as a result of low coal prices and cost-cutting needs at the mining company that was founded in 1916. Store Norske still operates three coal mines on Svalbard that together have employed around 340 people. Now a […]

Shopping bag tax sets off new row

Coop was cooking up something extra indeed this week, with Rema 1000. PHOTO: Coop Norge

NEWS ANALYSIS: A new tax on shopping bags in Norway suddenly crept into last week’s difficult state budget negotiations, and it has since kicked up nearly as much of a fuss as the budget itself. None of the politicians involved will accept blame or credit for the tax, which takes effect next spring. The debate was turning comical this […]

Telenor lifts the veil on VimpelCom

Telenor's CEO, Jon Fredrik Baksaas, finally revealed more about the "differences" he claims exists between TeliaSonera's dealings in Uzbekistan and Telenor's. Critics say that TeliaSonera and VimpelCom, in which Telenor owns a large stake, gained access to the Uzbekistan market in the same way, by making large payments to a company in Gibraltar that investigators suspect were bribes. PHOTO: Telenor

After refusing to answer questions about bribery suspicions at mobile phone firm VimpelCom, Norwegian telecoms company Telenor has finally revealed some of the contact it’s had with the firm, in which it holds a large shareholding. Telenor now claims it tried to ensure that VimpelCom was complying with Telenor’s ethical standards, and believed it was. Telenor Chairman Svein Aaser […]

Motor trouble strands Tesla drivers

Norway has been one of the most important new markets in the world for the trendy Tesla Model S electric cars, thanks to the country’s incentive programs and Norwegians’ wealth. Now the popular if pricey cars have been experiencing motor trouble, and many drivers aren’t nearly as pleased as they once were. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported […]

Statoil seeks to shake off politics

Prime Minister Erna Solberg, busy opening Statoil's new Gudrun platform in the North Sea, has called on Jonas Gahr Støre to clarify his position on oil and gas exploration and production. At far right, Statoil CEO Helge Lund looks on as Solberg is greeted by platform boss Ole Martin Bakken. PHOTO: Statoil/Harald Pettersen

The Norwegian state still owns 67 percent of the shares in Norwegian oil company Statoil, but the company itself wants to shed some of the political terms under which it’s run. Top politicians, however, don’t seem likely to give the country’s largest firm a lot more freedom to do what it wants. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported on Monday […]