Norway and the European Union are set to sign an industrial agreement during a climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Draft support for Norwegian oil exploration leaked, sparking outrage among climate and environmental groups.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Jonas Kahr Storr (AP), Development Minister Anne Beit Twinerim (SP) and Climate and Environment Minister Esban Barth Eide (AP) will travel to Egypt for the upcoming climate summit.
There, an agreement on closer industrial cooperation between the EU and Norway could be signed VG. According to TNHaving seen a draft, the government wants “the EU to support Norway’s continued exploration and investment to secure oil and gas for the European market”.
The draft concerns Kathryn Sundt-Henriksson, general manager of the Forum for Development and Environment. They represent 60 Norwegian environmental and development companies.
– The world is in a major climate crisis and we have contributed to it. Norway cannot take advantage of the energy crisis in Europe to allow the EU to pursue oil exploration. Sund-Henriksson says it would be a shame to commit to such a deal at the climate summit.
E24 did not succeed in gaining access to the draft, but Industry Minister Jan Christian Westray wrote in a letter that “the industrial partnership with the EU is focused on batteries and raw materials”.
“Attention varies over time”
Storr has chosen to remain silent on the content of the draft, but is speaking out VG “A deal with the EU is more possible now than it was a year ago, in light of what we mean for Europe in terms of energy”.
Eide tells E24 that he did not recognize himself in what was written in DN.
– According to DN, Norway is in the process of entering into a cooperation agreement with the EU, the Grønn Alliance, where there is talk that Norway wants to import oil and gas. How does the Ministry of Climate Change approach it?
– We will show it when it is there, but it will be a good and green alliance because that is what we are going to change. So I don’t recognize myself in being in the papers about it, but beyond that, I have to take it when it’s ready, Eide tells E24.
In Vestre’s letter, seen by E24, the agreement with the EU “offers the opportunity to promote Norwegian interests and offers opportunities for Norwegian business, in addition to the opportunities represented by the EEA agreement”.
Furthermore, it states that priorities in the agreement vary depending on the possibility and feasibility of cooperation with the other party.
“Attention varies over time,” Westray writes.
Norway’s greenhouse gas emissions are expected to decrease by 0.7 percent in 2021
Distinguish between oil and gas
Sund-Henriksen understood that Europe needed more energy.
– But we see that the government is planning to extract oil not only in an interim phase, but for a long time to come. It is not linked to research.
According to reports from United Nations And the IEA says there is no room for new oil fields if the world is to manage to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.
Among the oil projects on the table is the controversial Visting project. If it is approved, it will only be able to supply oil until 2028 and 30 years into the future – ie after 2050, when the world is projected to be emission-free.
Zero President Sigrun Gjerløw Aasland believes that moving Norway closer to the EU in the first place is a very good thing.
– But it is very important to distinguish between gas sales to Europe and the search for new oil and gas in the long term. The risk for the Norwegian economy, as we see it, is that we tie up capital and labor that we can use in renewable projects. If the EU succeeds in its climate policy, he says, they won’t need fossil energy.
Gjerløw Aasland also points out that one should distinguish between oil and gas, and what to do in the short and long term.
– He adds that the energy crisis in Europe has nothing to do with the new oil and gas fields, which are far behind in time.
IEA on energy crisis: This could be a “historic turning point”.
Greenpeace leader Frode Pleym says it’s no surprise that Norway wants support for continued oil exploration, but thinks it sends a scary signal.
He mentions a new report United Nations It shows that unless world leaders tighten climate targets and do more to curb fossil fuel dependency, we are headed for 2.5 degrees of warming.
– Politicians obviously need to do something about this. An oil-centric industrial deal would undermine the Paris Agreement. New oil exploration doesn’t match what the research says we should be doing. As such, it sends a false and frightening signal to the rest of the world, Flemme says.
The head of the Nature Conservancy, Truls Glovsen, believes it would be immoral for Norway to sign an oil and gas deal during the climate summit.
– He tells E24 that abusing the Ukraine crisis to push forward European support for continued exploration of oil and gas is dissonant and immoral.
Gina Gilver, head of Nature and Antom, believes it is embarrassing to be Norway at the climate summit.
– If Norway is to be a stable and predictable energy supplier, he says, we should not invest in fossil fuels.
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