On 13 September, Norwegians go to the polls. Norway is the West’s largest producer of oil and gas, which are a significant part of its exports. However, climate issues have forced the country to consider its conscience. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that big changes were “inevitable” and “irreversible“.

The report gave a boost to Norway’s Green Party. They pledged to stop all oil and gas exploration and bring all production to a halt by 2035. The leader of the Green Party, Une Bastholm, said, “We are here to make sure that nobody forgets the most important issue for this election. It should be climate change”.

The party has seen an enormous surge in membership over the weekend. Polls predict that they will oust the Conservative-led coalition that has been in power for eight years. With Labour the favourites to win the election – but with too few votes for form an outright majority – the Greens may find themselves in power. However, will the country be able to give up their fossil fuels?

Going Green

TWEET TRANSLATION: “According to the UN’s latest climate report and the clear message from Secretary-General Guterres, there is no doubt: The solution to the climate crisis is to end fossil energy, as quickly as possible. Here, all countries must contribute, and we are in a hurry.”

Despite its status as the third largest gas exporter in the world after Russia and Qatar, the country is also a leading exponent of green energy. It generates nearly 95% of its electricity from hydropower and ensure that seven out of every ten cars sold are electric.

There is pressure on Norway to change. It’s neighbour, Denmark, is ending all exploration for fossil fuels and aims to halt all production by 2050. The country plans to invest in sustainable power.

The Candidates

Jonas Gahr Stoere (Labour). The front-runner became leader of Norway’s Labour Party in 2014. He failed to become prime minister in 2017 and would need to negotiate a coalition.

Erna Solberg (Conservatives). She has cut taxes, expanded oil exploration, flouted Covid rules and hopes to become the first Norwegian prime minister to win a third consecutive term.

Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (Centre). A farmer and leader of the Norwegian eurosceptic Centre Party since 2014, he hopes to spend more money on rural areas and form a coalition with Labour.

Une Bastholm (Green). She became party leader during Covid in March 2021. She hopes to abolish fossil fuel exploration and stop all production in 2035.

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