Greens vote to phase out oil industry

Members of Norway’s Greens party (Miljøpartiet De Grønne, MDG) voted at their national meeting over the weekend to work towards phasing out the country’s oil industry within 10 years. Oil Minister Terje Søviknes dismissed the move as “totally unrealistic” and “ridiculous.” Søviknes, from the conservative Progress Party (Fremskritts Partiet, FrP), went on to accuse the Greens […]

Celebrations warm the Svalbard chill

PHOTO FEATURE: While Norway’s royal family waved as usual to the 17th of May parade in Oslo, hardy residents of Norway’s main settlement on Svalbard braved the Artic chill and an uncertain economic future with a unique parade of their own. It included almost the entire town, neighbouring Russians from Barentsburg and visitors from around the world, in quite […]

Norway celebrates from north to south

LONGYEARBYEN: Flags were raised and events officially kicked off at 8am all over the country on Wednesday as Norwegians launched into their Constitution Day celebrations on the 17th of May. The holiday is known for its unabashed displays of patriotism, highlighted by children, flags, tradition and memorials to fallen heroes. Here in Norway’s most northern community on Svalbard, flags […]

Sounds from the 17th on Svalbard

VIDEO FEATURE: This was one of many busy brass bands in Norway on the 17th of May. Svalbard’s Longyearbyen Storband, all dressed in hardhats and working clothes from the state-owned coal company Store Norske, were out early for a wreath-laying at the town’s monument to miners, then marched in the parade and played at another tribute to […]

Tourism booms in Norway’s Arctic

SVALBARD: Strong growth within Norway’s tourism industry is also extending well into the Arctic. On Svalbard, tourism is undergoing a boom that’s now being fueled by major new investment, while also raising safety and climate concerns. Svalbard, the remote Arctic archipelago that’s been administered by Norway for nearly 100 years, has gone through waves of economic activity, from […]

Russian died after Svalbard snowmobile accident

A Russian man in his 30s who was rushed to hospital in Tromsø after a snowmobile accident on Svalbard in late April was reported to have died during the night from the injuries he sustained. He was one of four guides leading around 20 Russian tourists when the ice over the fjord under them broke […]

Northern Norway’s counties to merge

Northern Norway has long been divided into three counties: Finnmark in the far northeast, Troms farther to the west, and Nordland between Troms and Trøndelag. Now Norway’s vast Arctic area will be divided into just two counties, after a majority in Parliament agreed on Wednesday to merge Finnmark and Troms. Helge Njåstad, leader of the parliamentary […]

Huge reserves fuel Arctic oil debate

UPDATED: Norway’s petroleum directorate reported on Tuesday that the country’s undiscovered offshore oil and gas reserves in the Barents Sea may be twice as large as previously thought. That’s only fueling the debate over whether they should be found and tapped, at a time when the largest political parties want to do just that. The fate of […]

Russian nuclear sub set to sail along the coast

The world’s largest nuclear submarine, Russia’s Dmitry Donskoy, is reportedly set to sail along Norway’s entire coast from north to south and then into the Baltic this summer. The planned voyage is sparking some concern, but also fascination. The Independent Barents Observer (external link) reported that the mighty vessel is expected to make the long trip from […]

‘Sensible’ Brende back in Russia

Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende tried to dismiss his Russian counterpart’s greeting on Wednesday as a joke, but the words from Sergey Lavrov lingered: Brende’s first visit to Russia since Norway’s neighbour controversially annexed Crimea three years ago was, according to Lavrov, “at least a sign” that Brende and his colleagues had understood that they needed “to come […]