Majority in Parliament supports EU climate cuts

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Even some of the most anti-EU parties in Norway were praising EU leaders on Friday for agreeing to cut carbon emissions by at least 40 percent of their level in 1990, by 2030. The support for the EU cuts also came from the two support parties for Norway’s minority government, but the government remained non-committal.

“We have to follow this (the EU’s lead) whole-heartedly,” Member of Parliament Abid Raja told state broadcaster NRK. His party Venstre (The Liberals) has a support deal with the government along with the Christian Democrats, meaning that if the government doesn’t commit to also cut carbon emissions, they may be forced to do so.

Knut Arild Hareide, leader of the generally anti-EU Christian Democrats, was also enthusiastic about the EU’s agreement as were the most anti-EU parties, the Center Party and the Socialist Left.

Labour, which has more seats in Parliament than the ruling Conservatives, was also positive, but the government minister in charge of environmental and climate issues, Tine Sundtoft, remained vague about matching the EU’s 40 percent cut. “We will be ambitious,” was all she would say during a political debate on NRK Friday morning.

Environmental activists called on Norway to cut carbon emissions by even more than the EU, with Bellona boss Fredric Hauge claiming government officials were “showing their true colors” by refusing to commit. “They want Norway to keep selling gas to the EU,” he told NRK. The government needs to take a stand on the issue before the next UN climate summit in Paris.

newsinenglish.no staff