Norway settles on its ‘ice edge’

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The Norwegian government coalition secured the support of its former partner, the Progress Party, in finally determining how far north oil companies can be allowed to be active. Labour also has indicated it supports the new so-called “ice edge,” resulting in a solid majority for the government in Parliament.

“We have reached agreement with the Progress Party,” the Conservatives’ Stefan Heggelund told news bureau NTB. The Labour Party also confirmed it can accept the government’s proposed boundary for where oil companies can drill for oil and gas and produce any that’s found.

The government already proposed moving the current “ice edge” border farther south, to an area where ice is present an average of 15 percent of the days in April. That’s not as far south as environmental groups wanted. “The government can greenwash this as much as they want,” complained Greenpeace leader Frode Pleym to state broadcaster NRK this week, “but they can’t get around the fact that they still are hurting vulnerable nature and the climate by ignoring the researchers.”

Those researchers had recommended moving the barrier to oil exploration farther south, but at least the government didn’t go farther north, which is what Progress wanted. They all ended up with an ice-edge that also may appease oil companies that aren’t so keen any longer on investing huge amounts of money in areas that may or may not reveal new oil and gas reserves.

newsinenglish.no staff