Business, political and environmental leaders gathered in Tromsø this week, along with indigenous peoples and researchers, for the annual Arctic Frontiers conference. It was opened by Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who later encountered opposition from those who don’t think her own Arctic policies are sustainable.
Solberg believes it’s possible to “find a balance” between protecting and using the natural resources found in the Arctic. “In 2050 we can be as many as 10 billion people living on the planet,” Solberg said, adding that the world needs healthy seas and creative technology to be able to cultivate more food, medicine and energy from the seas.
Nina Jensen of WWF had a clear response, claiming once again that oil and gas production in the Arctic is not compatible with either sustainable management of ocean resources or Norway’s own climate goals.
“Solberg maintains a faith and a vision that Norway can continue to be a dominant oil and gas player in the Arcitc,” Jensen said. “That’s at odds with the other message about protecting our most vulnerable areas.”
The Arctic Frontiers conference has attracted around 2,000 participants this week, including Foreign Minister Børge Brende.