Norway is already feeling the impact of warming, and Foreign Correspondent’s cameras are there to capture giant slabs of ice crashing into the sea.
Oil-rich Norway has adopted the radical goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. But, as Eric Campbell reports, there’s a catch to this green revolution.
For decades Norwegians have savoured the good life, courtesy of a bounty of oil.
“I’m part of the oil generation here in Norway…We don’t even have to pay to go to the dentist.” – oil analyst, Thina Saltvedt
They don’t just spend their North Sea riches on high living standards. They bank them too, prudently stashing away nearly US$900 billion – about $170,000 per person – in the world’s largest national sovereign wealth fund.
But now the parliament of this fossil fuel-endowed country has voted for carbon neutrality by 2030, two decades earlier than previously planned.
Already much of Norway’s electricity already comes from clean hydro. The conservative government has long supported a carbon tax and it’s heavily subsidising electric cars to help phase out petrol guzzlers as part of a wider push to a greener economy.
So where’s the catch? It may lie deep in the Arctic seabed.
In May the Government issued 13 companies with oil and gas exploration licences in the south Barents Sea along the Russian border.
“To maintain our position as a supplier of energy resources to a global population… we have to continue exploring new acreage.” – Energy Minister, Tord Lien
So while Norwegians debate how they will attain carbon neutrality in just 14 years, the Government is potentially opening up vast new oil and gas export fields on the edge of the high Arctic.
“The idea of Norway being such a great contributor to solving climate change is a scam. We’re contributing to the problem much more than we’re contributing to the solution.” – Greens MP, Rasmus Hansson
As Eric Campbell discovers, Norway is already feeling the impact of warming, perhaps nowhere more dramatically than at its northernmost tip. Here, as vast glaciers melt away, Foreign Correspondent’s cameras capture giant slabs of ice crashing into the sea.
“When you see blocks the size of skyscrapers coming down, it’s awe-inspiring. It’s hard to believe we’re having such an impact on things this big.” – Tom Foreman, environmental scientist
9.30pm on Tuesday September 27 on ABC.