New Sami president didn’t speak Sami

For the first time ever, the president of the Sami Parliament (Sametinget) in Norway could not and did not deliver the president’s annual New Year’s Day speech in the Sami language. Vibeke Larsen of the Labour Party, who assumed her post just before the holidays in what some call a political coup, ended up turning her lack of language proficiency […]

Mining company allowed to dump in local fjord

Despite protests from the Sami Parliament and several environmental organizations, Norway’s government ministry in charge of climate and environmental issues has allowed a mining company in Northern Norway to operate and dump tailings into a local fjord. Nussir ASA thus won a green light to mine copper at Nussir and Ulveryggen in Kvalsund, Finnmark County. […]

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 […]

Finnmark clobbered by winter storm

Nearly 30 roads were closed in Norway’s northernmost county of Finnmark on Friday and police were urging residents against trying to drive anywhere. Strong winds, poor visibility, landslides and extremely slippery conditions made travel hazardous. Even the police themselves were reluctant to attempt any. “We’re letting the cars stay parked when conditions call for it,” Bjørn […]

Norway braces for new refugee influx

Norway’s immigration agency UDI (Utlendingsdirektoratet) is bracing for another influx of asylum seekers over its northern border to Russia. Officials won’t specify why, but want to maintain preparedness at asylum centers and camps around Kirkenes. UDI officials confirmed to Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Wednesday that they “want to uphold solutions (for receiving refugees) in Finnmark also […]

Airline offers flights to Northern Lights

Norwegian airline Widerøe’s trademark green aircraft are nearly the same colour at their latest unusual tourist destination: the Northern Lights. Flights to see the Northern Lights, from high above any clouds that can impede viewing from the ground, are the latest in a string of efforts to generate growth for the venerable airline and help it stay competitive. […]

‘People’ sue state over Arctic oil

Two environmental organizations, backed by what they called a wide range of Norwegian groups and individuals, went ahead on Tuesday with plans to sue the Norwegian government for allowing oil companies to drill for new oil in the Arctic. They argue that Norway is thus violating the terms of the Paris Agreement to cut carbon emissions, […]

Arctic oil pact can defy climate goals

Despite all the international tension at present, Norway and Russia have once again managed to strike an important agreement, this time on how to go about exploiting more oil and gas resources along their earlier-agreed territorial border in the Barents Sea. Experts argue, however, that no new oil and gas fields can be opened, or existing ones […]

Troubled ‘Goliat’ rig back in business

Improvements to an emergency generator were among the maintenance tasks that allowed Italian oil compani Eni to crank up production again this week on its long-troubled Goliat oil and gas platform in the Barents Sea. The company claimed the rig was back up to 90 percent of normal production by Wednesday. The huge installation located 80 kilometers northwest of Hammerfest has […]

Russia sets off ‘busy week in the Barents’

With the Russian military stepping up its training exercises in the Arctic, and Norway keen to follow the action with not just one but two so-called “spy ships,” it’s been an unusually busy week in the Barents Sea, reports the Independent Barents Observer. The online news service that specializes in Arctic issues claimed there were “missiles […]