End of an era on Norway’s Svalbard

The Arctic territory of Svalbard has long been administered by Norway, with coal mining as it major source of income. Now Norway’s government has formally decided against bailing out the Svalbard coal mining operations it owns once again, marking the end of one era and, hope most involved, the beginning of another that will continue […]

Svalbard coal firm needs new bailout

Store Norske, the coal company that once dominated economic activity on Norway’s Arctic island group of Svalbard, claims that it’s once again teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. It’s seeking another major bailout from its owner, the Norwegian state. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that Store Norske Spitsbergen Grubekompani, a wholly owned coal mining subsidiary of Store Norske […]

Oil Fund asked to dump pipeline, coal

The president of Norway’s Sami Parliament (Sametinget) accompanied women from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to a meeting in Oslo this week, where they appealed to the Ethics Council that oversees the investments of Norway’s huge Oil Fund. They want the Oil Fund, which is under coal scrutiny as well, to dump its stakes in the three companies behind […]

State acts to help ‘save’ Svalbard

Norway’s Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, facing harder times because of cutbacks at its controversial coal mine, is getting state assistance to diversify its economy. The justice ministry announced several initiatives on Wednesday to create new jobs, including possible relocation of some state employees. The government wants to see more private companies establish themselves on Svalbard following job […]

Oil fund avoided big coal bankruptcy

When the large US coal company Peabody Energy Corp declared bankruptcy last week, Norway’s huge state pension fund that’s fueled by oil revenues didn’t take any losses. It sold out of Peabody even before the Norwegian Parliament ordered the fund to dump coal stock. Norway’s oil fund had already, at its own initiative, sold out […]

Little progress as coal dust settles

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway made international headlines last year, and won lots of positive feedback, when the Norwegian Parliament ordered the country’s huge sovereign wealth fund to sell off coal investments. Several divestments have since been made along with new environmentally motivated investments, but at the same time, the Parliament itself has invested even more money […]

Svalbard bailed out while bracing for weekend hurricane

State meteorologists were warning that Norway’s Arctic archipelago of Svalbard could be hit by a hurricane Friday night, with the bad weather extending into the weekend. The hurricane was predicted to slam into the island of Spitsbergen, where a controversial coal mine accused of contributing to climate change just won a government bailout. It’s the first time […]

More jobs on the line at Svalbard coal mine

The board of the coal mining company on Norway’s Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, Store Norske, has confirmed that at least 150 jobs need to be cut if the company is to stay in business. Low coal prices may finally mean “the beginning of the end” for the coal mining on Svalbard that has been an important source […]

Senators highlight Svalbard’s role

Norway’s Arctic archipelago of Svalbard has been attracting a steady stream of international dignitaries and top politicians in recent years, and this week the US senators John McCain and Sheldon Whitehouse were just the latest to pay a call. Environmentalists keep hoping that global attention on the effects of climate change on Svalbard will finally result in […]

MP: ‘We’re all hypocritical’ about coal

A veteran Member of Parliament who’s also the finance policy spokesman for the ruling Conservatives admitted on national radio Thursday that his party is just as “hypocritical” as all the others, after they agreed to stop investing state oil revenues in coal operations abroad while supporting Norway’s own coal operations on Svalbard in the environmentally sensitive Arctic. Svein […]