Polar bear attacked man on Svalbard

Another of Norway’s allegedly protected polar bears was shot and killed Tuesday morning after it attacked a man in the Mohn Bay area of eastern Svalbard. Details remained sketchy but the man survived the attack. State broadcaster NRK reported that the man and his companion were picked up by a rescue helicopter and brought back […]

Norway blasts EU fishing off Svalbard

Norway launched an unusually strong protest against the EU on Tuesday, calling its decision to grant fishing rights in a protected zone off Svalbard “completely unacceptable.” Norway has long claimed sovereign rights to the seas and sea floor around Svalbard as an extention of its internationally accepted authority over the Arctic archipelago. “Norway is protesting […]

Two killed in avalanche on Jan Mayen

Two of the 18 defense department personnel stationed on the remote Arctic island of Jan Mayen were killed over the weekend by an avalanche while out skiing. A third member of the group managed to dig himself out after two hours under the snow. Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen and the chief […]

Disney puts the spotlight on Svalbard

The nature film unit of entertainment giant Disney is preparing a new documentary on how climate change is affecting the Norwegian-administered Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. Part of the filming process, however, doesn’t seem particularly climate-friendly. Norwegian media has noted that Disney applied for, and received, permission for no less than 20 helicopter landings on various […]

Arctic oil prevails over ‘The People’

Norway’s Supreme Court (Høyesterett) ruled in favour of the state on Tuesday in a long-running landmark case billed as pitting “The People vs Arctic Oil.” In this case, the state was not “The People” but instead the government-approved Arctic oil operations that once again won over Norwegians’ alleged constitutional rights to a healthy environment. It marked […]

Biden welcome, not his Arctic oil ban

The vast majority of Norway’s top and mostly liberal politicians welcomed the news this week that Joe Biden finally has been officially elected as the next US president. Most, however, are not at all keen on his proposal to stop oil drilling in the Arctic. Biden has said he intends to make climate issues a […]

Parliament probes flow of oil reports

Just as the Center Party is reaching new heights in voter popularity, one of its former oil ministers has landed in more trouble with Parliament. Ola Borten Moe, who now works in the oil business himself, is suspected of withholding information that some Arctic oil fields could turn out to be unprofitable and expensive for […]

Fury surrounds new Arctic oil licenses

The Norwegian government and Oil Minister Tina Bru came under harsh criticism this week when they offered 136 new oil exploration licenses in more areas of the Arctic. The move comes while the Supreme Court and Parliament are reviewing the risks of earlier Arctic projects, and it was blasted as being both “arrogant” and “reckless.” […]

High court ponders future of Arctic oil

Opponents of offshore oil activity in Norway’s Arctic areas received flowers to mark the end last week of their landmark case against the state at the Supreme Court. As the high court’s deliberations began, the plaintiffs were cheered by earlier signs of royal support, not least after some harsh closing arguments. The case has received lots […]

High court hears Arctic oil appeal

A lengthy legal battle over whether Norway can continue to license oil operations in the Arctic reached the country’s highest court on Wednesday. If the court agrees that Norway has violated its own constitution by issuing licenses for oil industry activity in sensitive Arctic areas, all new oil exploration and production in the Barents Sea […]