Can Norway Afjord a Break from Fossil Fuels?

Norway Heads to the Polls in Pivotal Election for the Environment

When it comes to climate change, Norway’s like a vegan with a beef farm

Brew writer Neal Freyman | MANAGING EDITOR

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Photo by Oscar Daniel Rangel on Unsplash

Norway is holding an election today with big implications for the environment. 

When it comes to climate change, Norway’s like a vegan with a beef farm. It’s one of the most environmentally forward-thinking countries in the world; thanks to generous government subsidies, roughly 70% of all new cars sold are electric. 

But oil and gas is its most important industry. The sector employs more than 5% of Norway’s workforce and accounts for more than 40% of its exports. Norway’s also built up a $1.4 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, thanks to its fossil fuel exploits. 

Polls show that the Labor party will unseat the Conservative-led government after eight years of control. Both of those parties support a slow transition away from oil and gas production. 

But unlike in the US, smaller political parties in Norway hold major sway. And how those groups, which advocate for a more immediate break from fossil fuels, fare in the election will ultimately decide how quickly Norway severs ties to an industry that made it so rich. 


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