Finnmark mining protests underway

Government ministers arriving for the weekly Council of State at the Royal Palace on Friday were met by noisy and angry demonstrators, protesting their decision last week to allow a controversial mining and dumping operation in Finnmark. More protests were held through the weekend, in Alta, Tromsø, Hamar, Flekkefjord, Sunndal, Trondheim and Oslo. The decision […]

Sparks fly over Finnmark mining

While local elected officials were celebrating with cake, protests poured in over the Conservative state government’s decision on Thursday to finally allow mining operations on a mountain plateau in Finnmark. It’s expected to generate 300 new jobs in the area, but can also disrupt Samis’ reindeer grazing while dumping debris and tailings into the fjord […]

Climate change ravages Svalbard

A new report compiled by Norway’s leading climate researchers predicts much warmer temperatures on the Arctic island group of Svalbard in the years ahead, with more rain, flooding and landslides expected. The report has been described by experts as both “very dramatic” and among the “most frightening” to be released yet. Much of the damage […]

Auditor slams oil safety regulator

Environmental activists were alarmed this week, after Norway’s state auditor general’s office all but blasted Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority (Petroleumstilsynet, PTIL) for not doing a better job. The highly critical report of the regulatory agency, which was even worse than environmental activists had expected, comes just as Norway’s Oil Ministry has granted a record number […]

Norway hands out more oil licenses

While his colleagues in Parliament were reeling over a report on poor regulation of Norway’s offshore installations, and another shows that most young Norwegians oppose more oil exploration, Norwegian Oil Minister Kjell-Børge Freiberg was busy and visibly proud to be handing out a record number of new offshore oil and gas exploration licenses in Norwegian […]

Conflicts fly behind ‘Green Capital’ year

NEWS ANALYSIS: Oslo’s political leaders were basking in the spotlight on Friday, ready to officially kick off the city’s year of being hailed as Europe’s “Green Capital” in 2019. Muttering in the background are critics who claim it’s all just a big show that’s costing residents and taxpayers dearly. The critics are not limited to […]

Climate debate will still flare in Norway

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway nurtures an environmentally conscious image, but the country still has a long way to go in tackling its own climate challenges. Its oil and gas companies, offshore sector, farmers, airline passengers and commuters have a lot more changes to make if the country is to meet the climate goals to which it’s […]

Climate agreement still ‘not enough’

Norway’s climate and environment minister, Ola Elvestuen, admits that it was “difficult to find a balance” among the 196 countries that finally hammered out new rules over the weekend for enforcing reductions in carbon emissions. Reaction was decidedly mixed. “The agreement is an important step, but it’s not enough,” Elvestuen told news bureau NTB. “The […]

‘Goliat’ platform in trouble again

The huge Goliat oil platform, Norway’s first in the Barents Sea, is still plagued by so many technical problems that safety regulators are warning they’ll issue an injunction to halt operations if the problems aren’t solved. The order comes just after Goliat came under new management and altered ownership this week, and as Norway must […]

Norway falls in climate rankings

Norway’s Climate and Environment Minister Ola Elvestuen was worried before he traveled to the UN’s climate summit in Poland this week, and he had good reason to be. While he voiced concern over “too many disagreements” among participating nations, Norway itself hasn’t done very well in cutting its own carbon emissions, and tumbled in new […]