Norway’s Arctic oil policy threatens Paris climate goals

West Hercules drilling well number 100 at the Nunatak prospect in the Barents Sea. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland/Statoil ASA)
Norway’s plans to ramp up Arctic oil and gas production undermines the Paris Agreement, according to a recent NGO study.

According to a recent NGO report, Norway’s plans to ramp up Arctic oil and gas production undermines the Paris Agreement.

A recent study from Oil Change International says Norway’s recent plan of ramping up its Arctic oil and gas production undermines the country’s efforts to cut emissions and threatens global efforts to tackle climate change, according to UK daily the Guardian. Oil Change International is an NGO backed by a.o. Friends of the Earth, WWF and Greenpeace.

In June, Norway announced a total of 102 blocks in its 24th licencing round, 93 of which lie in the Barents Sea. 

Norway is the world’s biggest fossil fuel exporter and according to the report, the planned boost in its Arctic petroleum activities undermines its effort to cut emissions at home. According to the Guardian, this is described as “trying to put the brakes on climate change at home while stomping your foot on the global gas pedal”.

The Norwegian government, on the other hand, argues that increased Norwegian petroleum production is part of the solution on a global scale for tackling climate change, saying that Norway is doing better than most nations because it gets 97% of its electricity from renewable sources, has a high carbon tax, is a leader in promotion of electric vehicles, and is pioneering carbon capture and storage at waste plants and cement factories.