Diesel ban extended, no fines issued yet

UPDATED: A combination of cold, still winter weather and poor air quality prompted Oslo city officials to enforce a ban on diesel-driven vehicles in the Norwegian capital for the first time ever. Those caught driving a diesel vehicle on city-owned streets face a fine of NOK 1,500 (USD 176). The diesel ban was initially put […]

Labour’s love lost on Lofoten debate

Labour Party leader Jonas Gahr Støre has finally confirmed that Norway’s scenic Lofoten islands need some tender loving care, with parts of their offshore waters protected from oil exploration and production. His jobs-minded party, however, isn’t extending full protection to other nearby areas, and that means few apart from Støre himself are happy with a proposed compromise announced this week. “This is an especially […]

Statoil insists it’s also ‘going green’

Even as Statoil promoted a “fantastic portfolio” of oil drilling projects for 2017 this week, three of them in the sensitive Arctic, top officials insist the Norwegian oil company is also concerned about climate change and cutting carbon emissions. Statoil now admits that its drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has been unsuccessful, but newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported this week […]

Leaders clash at NHO conference

Norway’s national employers’ organization NHO gathered some of the most powerful business and political leaders in the country on Thursday for its annual conference at Oslo Spektrum. This year’s conference centered on how companies can combine reduced carbon emissions with value- and job creation, and clashes arose immediately. No sooner had Prime Minister Erna Solberg of […]

Winter returns after record warmth

UPDATED: Winter was finally returning to most of the Norwegian territory this week. After months of unseasonably warm temperatures, not least on Svalbard, subzero temperatures were setting in and even Oslo residents were told to brace for temperatures down to as low as minus-8C on Thursday. Thermometers in Northern Norway, meanwhile, were due to show double-digit numbers […]

Fuel prices hit record high

A combination of higher oil prices and a slight increase in fuel taxes that took effect January 1 left Norwegians facing record-high fuel prices at the pump on Monday. Norway already has among the highest petrol prices in the world, and now they’ve jumped again. The market leader in pump prices (Circle K, formerly Statoil) was […]

Carbon emissions rise once again

New figures released this week confirm that Norway’s carbon emissions have risen once again, and the country’s oil and gas industry is mostly to blame. For the first time, Norway’s emissions are higher than neighbouring Sweden’s, even though Sweden has a much larger population and a long industrial history. The figures from state statistics bureau […]

Statoil finally sells out of oil sands

Norwegian oil company Statoil finally did what climate activists, environmentalists and several top Norwegian politicians have been urging for years: Sell off the last of its highly controversial oil/tar sands assets in Canada. “This has been an absolutely catastrophic project for Statoil,” claimed one Greenpeace activist as others expressed profound relief. Statoil announced Wednesday night […]

More oil exploration sparks objections

Just a week after the Norwegian government finally secured what it calls “the greenest budget” in history, Oil Minister Tord Lien was moving forward with expansion of oil activity in the Arctic. Environmentalists were moving just as quickly to try to stop it, claiming that the oil industry seems to have won exemptions from the carbon emission […]

Oslo revives proposed ban on diesel-driven vehicles

Higher levels of air pollution in the Norwegian capital so far this winter have prompted city politicians to revive plans to ban vehicles using diesel on days when air quality levels are lowest. The ban would apply from 6am until 10 pm, reported newspaper Dagsavisen on Monday. Lan Marie Nguyen Berg of the Greens Party, […]