Oil Production in Norway is Challenging it’s Clean Energy Initiatives
By Space Coast Daily // December 11, 2019
Norway has been one of the leading forces in a movement against climate change. The Country has come out with multiple clean initiatives, half of the cars in Norway are already electric but the oil production in the country is challenging its status as the leader in sustainable living.
Now the government in Norway is facing a growing backlash on their oil production regulations, with people and different environmentalists and political parties demanding the termination of the oil production process completely. Norway is no stranger to contradicting behavior.
The country has one of the most unique policies with the gambling industry. While the country permits are citizens to play it has very strict policies on the gambling venues themselves.
For example, if you wanted to play at any new NetEnt online casino in Norway, you’re more than free to do so, citizens don’t usually get any policies written off against them.
But when it comes to gambling venues they have to answer to the government officials, under multiple regulations.
According to the Norwegian climate think tank, Norway has been one of only two countries in the European Union that haven’t been able to deliver on any emission cuts.
The country is hailed as “electric vehicle heaven” but they’re continuing to drill oil. Owners of electric vehicles can use bus lanes, are spared VAT charges on petrol and diesel vehicles pay no road tax and e have a 50% discount on road tolls.
So the effort to balance out the not-so-green practices of oil production is evident. By some predictions, by 2025 all the cars in Norway will either be electric or hydrogen.
So that is why the expectations are way higher when it comes to Norway and its contribution to reducing the risks of climate change.
Another less eco-friendly vehicles Norway relies on heavily are short-distance ferries. They are slowly but surely being replaced by the new electric-powered ferries. Ferry emissions are actually enormous, comparable to those of the entire car fleet of some Norwegian cities.
So by cutting back on those old-style ferries and focusing on the electric-powered ones Norway will also be making steps forwards to the more sustainable living.
Norway is actually Western Europe’s biggest oil producer. So it’s easy to understand why it has taken so long to openly talk about the contradiction between promoting green living while continuing the oil drillings. It is also half of the country’s export and accounts for 12% of yearly revenue.
Norway plays a crucial part in the European system, providing the oil and making sure that the European countries don’t have to depend on the Middle East for oil.
If Norway stopped the oil production not only would it seriously destabilize the whole region if would also affect Norway’s economy in a very drastic way.
While the conversations about Norway’s oil production have become more public, different opinions have also resurfaced. Some politicians say that it is inherently better for everyone if Norway keeps producing oil, because their oil drilling practices are a lot cleaner compared to the other countries and that they cause less damage.
This might not be far off but it is still questionable when a country is willing to divest fossil fuel investments from its trillion-euro sovereign wealth fund while pursuing new oil exploration projects.
While Norway continues to give a lot of attention to climate change, nobody really talks about the “oil elephant” in the room, says Espen Moe, professor of political science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
It is not surprising that most political parties support the oil industry, since its one of the driving forces of the country’s economy and a big part of their role in the region as a whole. But the pressure on Norwegian authorities is rising, be that from the Green parties of citizens themselves.
Turns out that Norway is not as green as it likes to think, and the country hasn’t been able to bring about the change sufficient enough to actually make an impact.
What actually accelerated the process of discussing what could be done to improve Norway’s oil production emission, was the country’s recently announced plans to open the Arctic and other sensitive regions fro drilling.
But Norway keeps claiming that their process of extracting and processing oil is cleaner than in other parts of the world.
Norwegian oil reserves are forecast to peak in 2020, so naturally, the country is forced to start looking for other energy resources.
Progress on carbon capture and storage hasn’t been very successful with the country’s numerous efforts failing continuously.
The Norwegian coast saw the world’s first large-scale carbon storage project in 1996. The project was injecting nearly one million tonnes of CO2 a year into a tomb 800 to 1,100 meters beneath the seabed.
The country also has a lot of experience with offshore wind development, but this particular practice is becoming politically difficult.
Norwegian officials have been facing a backlash against wind turbines, which protest groups say visually pollute the landscape. So Norway has a lot of thinking and innovating to do in the near future to maintain its status as one of the leaders in the clean-living movement.